Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks - Fried On The Alter Of Good Tastedotdotdotdotdot
artworkThere's no shortage of coolness here. A great and inventive blend of genres, from Link Wray and surf to space age Star Trek tweakiness, this CD wanders the halls of danger with power and real freshness. The production is imaginative and very effective, and the ideas unique. If you're looking for trad, this isn't it. On the other hand, if you have your adventure hat on, and a bottle of courage in your backpack, this will surely make your day. Robert Johnson is the guitarist responsible for the excellent Swedish band the Bottle Ups.
Picks: Sputnik Monroe, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, Ali Pang, Surf As Houdini, Arabesque, Sam Spade's Wedding, Something For Sophia Loren, Galveston Giant, Rope-A-Dope, Rocket True Temper 20 Oz., Rubber Room, Escape From New York, Sham, New Interns Watusi

Track by Track Review


Sputnik Monroe dotdotdotdot
Bo Diddley Jungle (Instrumental)

This ultra cool Bo Diddley beat jungle exotica track is inventive and rhythmic, with very cool effects and an infectious sound. It's got the beat, the magic, and the unusual draw.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service dotdotdotdotdot
Pulsing Rock (Instrumental)

A highly unusual treatment of the John Barry film score with driving rhythm and pulsing sound. It's not just well played, it's inventively arranged and mixed. very nice!

Ali Pang dotdotdot
Rhythmic Percussive (Instrumental)

A great rolling rhythm and lilting flow dominate this richly percussive piece. Everything about it surrounds you as you listen. Captivating.

Surf As Houdini dotdotdotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf As Houdini" reminds me of what might happen if Hawkwind surfed Malibu. Driving reverbed guttural low-E guitar, throbbing psycho space rhythms and noises, and inventive production. Dangerous and adventurous, this simply powers and writhes its way into your psyche.

Arabesque dotdotdotdot
Exotic Psycho Surf (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's splendid composition is completely converted into an exotic haunted tweaky surf 'n' psycho slider that brings a grin and a sense of warm summer breezes on the lagoon. Very cool!

Sam Spade's Wedding dotdotdotdot
Fuzzomatic (Instrumental)

Grinding power throb, fuzzomatic assault, down and dirty whirling dervish hypnotica, and guitars layered and effected into a whole new sound. Amazingly fresh, and powerful too.

Something For Sophia Loren dotdotdot
Space Cheese (Instrumental)

The opening bongos and fluid guitar makes this shine. It's powerful, nomadic, and spaced out. The cheesy chorus reminds me of Star Trek, while the bold guitar cries danger!

Galveston Giant dotdotdotdot
Coy Sci-Fi (Instrumental)

Surf guitar, plodding rhythm, coy melody patterns, and a relentlessly circling psycho daze. Ominous, dangerous, threatening... almost evil. The super slow pick slide is a brilliant addition. It's like a sci-fi film for your ears.

Rope-A-Dope dotdotdotdot
Space Martini Time (Instrumental)

Assailing guitars, thrashy glissandoes, and space weirdness... a bachelor's worst nightmare. Space rock, martini thrash, and in your face power... very nice!

Rocket True Temper 20 Oz. dotdotdotdotdot
Surf's Evil Side (Instrumental)

Big fuzz, powerful Link Wray surf, harmonics and grind, and a dark soul. "Rocket True Temper 20 oz." power drives and wails, melodically plundering with and space age edge. What a monster!

Rubber Room dotdotdotdot
Descention (Instrumental)

I was sorta hoping for a surf and grind work up of the Porter Wagoner country classic, but this is nothing of the sort. It's a strong throbbing power trip down a rat hole of dangerous size. Viciously descending into an abyss.

Escape From New York dotdotdotdot
Spooky Big Guitar (Instrumental)

John Carpenter's film theme, dramatically messed from a post modern space age vantage point. Big guitar, cool keys, and an eerie sense of danger. Spooky and relentless.

Sham dotdotdotdot
Valve Grinder (Instrumental)

Panics' "Sham" grinds the valves of a space age engine right in front of your eyes, like an outlander's worst fear confronting them when their guard is down. Pure evil!

New Interns Watusi dotdotdotdotdot
Dangerous (Instrumental)

The great Earl Hagen ("Harlem Nocturne") wrote this. The groovy Robert Johnson and Punchdrunks brought relentless surf rhythm and hypnotic percussion to it, with haunted guitar and keyboard work. The magic of Hagen's writing has always been its flexibility and its dockside danger. There's something unbalanced about the images this invokes, the kind you can't explain with the lights on.