Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Isotopes - Real Instrumental Heroes
|This is an excellent set of tunes from The Isotopes. Part surf, part post punk, and very well arranged. There's plenty here for your ears.|
Picks: Unnatural Selection, Nocturnal Transmission, Membranes Only, 8 Bit, Protein Spill, Antiseptic Tank, 50 Centigrade, Cheat Sheet, Closing Theme From 'The Isotopes'
Track by Track Review
Tom tom action launches "Unnatural Selection," which rips right along with exuberance and charm. The melody is very good and upbeat. The break is cool with its muted leads. Great playing from all concerned, and nicely recorded and mixed.
Moody bass with whammy chords and a spyish melody. The modest pace adds drama to this fine track. Great, long, slow, shallow whammy chords just send shivers. The tortured slide in the break is superb, and it yields to very dark double picked guitar. Excellent!
Fuzz and drums, moody bass and angular rock tone give "Membranes Only" a punky sound. Intensely level, with some cool sustain verging on feedback. Quite nice.
Slithering guitar lines, some double picked, and some open. "8 Bit" has a very enjoyable melody in the double picked lines, and plenty in between. Many changes and textural adventures.
Angry overdrive whammy chords torture the opening of "Protein Spill." Punky, rocky, and strong. Many instros with this sort of textural sound are not very interesting, but this is a remarkable exception. Great drums and arranging.
Blue Surf (Instrumental)
Slow, organ accompanied bluesy surf with soothing tone and a pleasing sound. "Antiseptic Tank" is a funny title, and doesn't suggest anything about the song itself, which has a soulful emotional flow to it.
Dark, angry tone and punk chords drive this buzzy instro. "50 Centigrade" is aggressive and intense, but mid tempo. Layers of sound gradually rise as an extra guitar track comes in.
Lovely dribbled out whammy chords give way to double picked guitar playing an eighties style surf melody. It may harken back to LA '83, but it sure isn't derivative or particularly reflective. "Cheat Sheet" is an excellent surf instro with many adventures within.
Closing Theme From 'The Isotopes'
Faster punk instrumental travels along a stormy coastline in search of a secret half pipe. "Closing Theme From 'The Isotopes'" does seem to embody the band pretty well.