Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Thee Jaguar Sharks - Thee Jaguar Sharksdotdotdotdot
artworkThere's lots to like here. Evolved from trad, infused with many modern influences, and very well arranged. Thee Jaguar Sharks have a very original sound. Of particular note are the slower numbers, with their almost funeral moodiness. Very original.
Picks: Lobster Rumble, Firewater, Chop Suey Watusi, Tube Twister, Manta's Dream, Shady Rip, Night At The Octodrag, Dead Man's Curve, Shark Chase, Sato's Broken Heart, Stingray Shark, Temptation At Danger Cove

Track by Track Review

Lobster Rumble dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The melody here is based on a circling progression, and it works pretty darn well. A solid and appropriate rhythm section gives "Lobster Rumble" oomph, and that combines with the warmth of the melody line to substantially engage you. It all ends with a surf whammy chords.

Firewater dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Astronauts' "Firewater" (Jimmy Haskell) is done with an echoed reverence. The bridges sparkle and charm, while the guitar's echo makes the main melody seem weak by comparison. It is a fresh way to cover this.

Chop Suey Watusi dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Chop Suey Watusi" is unusually written for a surf instro, with a more rock instro progression, but the whammy brings it to the curl. The extreme tremolo in the break is almost frightening, especially when coupled with the dark fuzz sustain. It may not rock your world, but you'll remember it.

Tube Twister dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tube Twister" has a low guttural lead, whammy chords, and very moody bass. It's the long watery chords and lines that make it stand out. It's not as fluid as surf usually implies, but its imagery is of dangerous waters and desperate rides.

Manta's Dream dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Muted reverb guitar lines, island whammy chords, tribal drums, and soothing bass, along with a distant female voice create an exotic vacation variant of the kind of surf that The Surfmen' "Paradise Cove" personifies. Mysterious and sultry.

Shady Rip dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Delightful muted patters and flowing chords shimmer above a moody backtrack. "Shady Rip" is mid tempo and very cool. I think its pace is the thing that gives it room to breathe. Quite nice.

Night At The Octodrag dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Echoed guitar syncs with the drums and bass. "Night At The Octodrag" employs double pick melody lines, long flowing chords, and a number of fine changes. Parts of this song are just superb, particularly as it goes through so many different movements.

Dead Man's Curve dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jan and Dean's "Dead Man's Curve" is the fodder for this instrumental. The melody line is delivered muted with echo and a moderate pace, which gives it credibility. You know which song it is, but the pop drama and syrup of the vocal are replaced with delicate genuine instrumental honesty. It even includes the screeching tire and narrated lines from the middle of the hit. The chorus completes the pop majesty. Too cool!

Shark Chase dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Shark Chase" starts out with moody bass and drums, and then a slightly space guitar riff comes in, and alternates between less surfy progressions. It's an interesting track with great drums and plenty of changes.

Sato's Broken Heart dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a bit of a spy feeling, and thick, stinging whammy, "Sato's Broken Heart" is both adventurous and dangerous. The tone is gritty, not reverby, yet there's not doubt about its aquatic roots.

Stingray Shark dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Muted guitar lines, rock chords, and a simple and edgy riff. "Stingray Shark" works surprisingly well - I say surprisingly, because it did not immediately grab me, but within a minute, I was engaged. many tone & effects changes.

Temptation At Danger Cove dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Long slow whammy chords, dangerous tone, almost Indian funeral drums, and subtle bass moodiness artfully create a forsaken image of demise. Tremolo, whammy, and amazing imagery. I really like this.