Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Knights - Then and Nowdotdotdot
artworkThis CD-R sequences sixties tracks from King Richard and the Knights with significant updates from the 2000/2001 line up of the Knights. Some vocals and a nice aggregation of instros. It's interesting to hear these tracks side-by-side, original and update, and how they have evolved. These guys were a staple on the New Mexico garage scene in the mid sixties, playing surf and Ventures style instros, and eventually bringing in well crafted garage pop as well. There are many very pretty tracks here, some adventurous ones, and one vocal as well.
Picks: Sons of Beaches, Precision, Precision 2000, Cimarron, Moon Beam, Moon Beam 2000, Sand Crab, Lonely By The Sea, The Calm and the Storm, Cut Out, Cut Out Y2K, Afterglow, Then And Now (Runaway Fleeting Heart)

Track by Track Review

Sons of Beaches dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gently lapping seashore sounds introduce this cool melodic tune. The melody riff is endearing and rolling, while sounding round and smooth. A gentle track, "Sons of Beaches" invites you to a lazy day at the surf's edge. very nice track.

Precision dotdotdotdot
Pop Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with pomp, this rhythm dominated track sports a lead guitar playing a melody influenced by "Mariah," but not "like" it. The country backtrack, the dry tone, and the very fine arrangement bring this to fruition. Excellent view into pop-rock instro history. Very enjoyable. This was the A-side of Delta single 2048.

Precision 2000 dotdotdot
Southwest Surf (Instrumental)

Another updating of a sixties Knights tune. This is considerable more motion oriented, but still quite restrained, with some riff references to "Mariah." The warmth and lazy traveling feel of the track are great for lowering the blood pressure on the freeway in a traffic jam.

Cimarron dotdotdotdot
Southwest Surf (Instrumental)

Surf and stage coaches, warm sun setting on a day in the salt air. The chords and lead notes are soft and smooth, and very soothing. The beat, while soft, is mid tempo and entertaining. The break features exotic percussion and tribal motifs. Very cool track.

Moon Beam dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This fine slowdance tune sports Ventures whammy and some reverb. The melody is pretty, and the whammy gives it an island feel. "Moon Beam" was the A-side of Red Feather 18401.

Moon Beam 2000 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Updated, smoothed out, liquefied, reverbed, and very pretty. "Moon Beam 2000" is a slow journey arm in arm with romance in mind. Breezy palms and distant torch lights, and the moon's shimmer reflected off a nearly flat lagoon.

Sand Crab dotdotdotdot
Southwest Surf (Instrumental)

This is based on "I Want To Love You," one of the vocals included on this release. Big compressed modern lead guitar, and cool semi "Louie Louie" chords. Catchy and very cool.

Lonely By The Sea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very slow piece, like the Safaris' "Lonely Surf Guitar" (not the Surfaris - on Valiant), but much less intense. "Lonely By The Sea" was the B-side to "Moon Beam." The use of delay in lieu of reverb gives it a more plaintiff sound. Excellent.

The Calm and the Storm dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow moody and modern, with fuzzed compressed guitar and floaty keys, and an almost Get Wet feel. This updating of "Lonely By The Sea" is quite refreshing.

Cut Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cut Out" was the B-side of Delta single 2048. It's like cross between the Fireballs rhythm sense and Link Wray' for light days, with surfy tones and a very friendly riff.

Cut Out Y2K dotdotdot
Southwest Surf (Instrumental)

With a little whammy dippin' action, and a drivin' riff, "Cut Out Y2K" hearkens back to the instro writing styles of the pre-surf era, a progression and some jammin', and a hook.

Afterglow dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soft and seashore friendly, "Afterglow" sports very cool exotic drums and Ventures-ish whammied guitar. The island imagery is unmistakable. Very pretty.

Then And Now (Runaway Fleeting Heart) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great rolling drums and surf ethics, whammy chords, and a soft lead guitar. This is a morphing of Del Shannon's "Runaway" and Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon." It's a natural combination, and is both warm and liquid. very nice track.