Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
|Jetpack's debut disc is a major undertaking, sporting the meander of the Reventlos, but seeming to be much more deliberate and artsy. The music is well crafted, almost scientifically calculated. Each piece is a capsule unto itself. The CD doesn't really have a "band sound." The most creative piece here is the great surf reworking of Simon and Garfunkle's "Sound Of Silence." |
Jetpack is one guy who was hooked him up with Michael Kramer (Producer of both Blue Hawaiians records). It's much more of a collection of artwork from expressive players that brought to this canvas a wide pallet of influences. The concept of the disc is a surf opera, telling a story through the use of different instro genres, but remaining rooted in surf. Dan Jetpack has also assembled a band to support the record, and to expand their sound.
Picks: Motel Nowhere, The Fury, Bus Stop, Pacifica, Get Even, Agent J, Lunik Z, Texas Longboard, Pedro, Prom Night 2000, Telemetry, Sound Of Silence, Return Of Pedro
Track by Track Review
Desert Surf (Instrumental)
With a melancholy floating shimmer, this picturesque piece portrays a Red Rock West sorta character, down to his last fiver. With only up to go from here, and no breaks in sight, there remains unfounded optimism. Towards the end, "Motel Nowhere" climbs out of it's culdesac with dramatic flair as a new day dawns across the open plain. Very nice!
Hot Rod (Instrumental)
Open road Plymouth rock, with a fat melody line and a small combo organ supporting the guitar. "The Fury" leans on a fluid film score feel, with a smoothness and somewhat lackluster sound.
A delicate floating guitar opens this rendition of the Hollies' "Bus Stop." It's about time someone put the early Hollies melodic pop to the instro test besides the Insect Surfers. Smooth and pleasing, but not commanding.
Bongos accompany the light drumming and very round bass lines as a guitar lays out an endless string of unchanging chord progressions. It's the watery bass that is carrying the lead, which makes this a most unusual surf sidestep instro. Picturesque, exotic, floating, and very moody. "Pacifica" carries the night under post beach party huddled arms around scenes dissolving slowly into one anther while a camp fire shimmers between the camera and the gossamer romantic moments.
Thick heavy guitar, some sustain approaching feedback, guttural rock sounds, moody and somewhat mean images of danger just out of reach. Very dramatic, quite sophisticated, and approaching prog.
Energetic drums under a flippant guitar line, slightly sad and passive. The dramatic midsection drives hard, but otherwise there's no dominating attack. There's a sense of intended pomp, yet an underlying ominous feel.
Prog Surf (Instrumental)
The mandolin plays as the gondola floats by. But wait! That is merely the precursor to the drifting melody that reminds me of a piece of "Don't Fear The Reaper," double picked fluidly for a romantic soundtrack. Very nice, slightly progressive.
Country Surf (Instrumental)
Cow-abunga, dude. Johnny Cash rides the shore break in Galveston. The fiddles and sleepy lap steel are very cool, with that round country fender lead playing a country lick of considerable caliber. "Texas Longboard" is a way fun tune with plenty of straw for the hay ride.
Mexican Surf (Instrumental)
A classical Spanish progression gently opens. Then, gunshots ring out, and "Pedro" escapes into the night. Not very melodic, but very pleasing, like a classical run with mariachi trumpet out back adding a sadness to his flight. This is really pretty, especially the shimmer of the vibrato guitar parts.
Prom Surf (Instrumental)
The class of 2000 whisk across the dance floor slowly crossing from one life into another. It's almost too syrupy, yet it retains just enough genuineness to avoid the abyss of prom dance tunes. Very pretty.
Telemetry Surf (Instrumental)
"Telemetry" is much more melodic than it's title might lead you to believe. It has a rhythmic chop to it alright, but the guitar lines float hauntingly atop the backtrack like a breeze on a warm evening. This is very nice. It even retains it's niceness when the screaming guitar breaks in. Quite interesting.
Folk Surf (Instrumental)
A reverbed glissando opens what surely sounds like a cover of "Pipeline" beginning. Then here comes the that Simon and Garfunkle melody. Aside from the Coolies' cover of "Mrs. Robinson," I think this is for SnG surf. Excellent idea, well executed. and quite fun. I predict this will be the hit of the disc. The tribal drums towards the end under the chorus chanting out the melody line is just too cool! Immensely entertaining, and very strong.
Drama Surf (Instrumental)
Thundering drama, gradual fade in, glissando attack, riveting power, and a saucy moodiness. Not exactly middle eastern, but hinting slightly like a jazz wail.