Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Langhorns - Club Gabardinodotdotdotdot
artworkThis is quite a bold step forward for the Langhorns. In some respects, it's like a cross between Pollo Del Mar with Spanish trumpets and less aquifer influence, and the Aqua Velvets less the shine. Plenty of bull run sounds, lots of private eye mystery, oodles of suave, and some very good writing. It's way off the central surf path, but like Chris Shahin's jazz surf, this fine band has created their own sound, steered clear of the pack, yet retained the link to the surf roots. Quite a tasty CD.
Picks: Surf 99, Switchblade, Club Gabardino, The Victor, Point Neuf, Stake Out, Dauphin, Wet Wedding, Aspiración, Power Grip, El Duro, Fuzzball, Pit Stop Stampede, Pall Mall, Untitled

Track by Track Review

Surf 99 dotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

This two-chord spaghetti western-ish number is infectious and fun, with horns blaring and a nifty riff ready for a galloping horse drawn stagecoach on a coastal highway scene... maybe faster than that, but it does invoke that sort of image.

Switchblade dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Switchblade" is a fluid whammy watershed instro in the vein pioneered by Pollo Del Mar. It's a darn good track with a significant surf factor from that rainy day on the dunes mysterious perspective. Slightly gloomy, yet optimistic.

Club Gabardino dotdotdotdot
Spanish Surf (Instrumental)

"Club Gabardino" opens with a slow semi dramatic intro before dropping into a fine Spanish-spaghetti western riff that is both inspired and well developed. The horns bring out the running of the bulls while the guitar speaks of long rides on tropical waves on an overcast day. A great track.

The Victor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's classic, scrunched out with as much flair asLanghorns can muster. "The Victor" is delivered with reverence and warmth, enhance significantly with Spanish horns, which bring it out of the water and into the bull ring, moving it up a notch from the typical cover. In some ways, this reminded me of the Treble Spankers.

Point Neuf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Point Neuf" is riff driven somewhat mysterious, even a little jazzy. The melody structure is not unlike the Chris Shahin Band's brand of surf, but more rock, less jazz. An excellent diversion.

Stake Out dotdotdotdot
Suave Secret Agent Jazz (Instrumental)

Spies in the lounge sounds, shimmering vibrato, suave bongos, and a slow whammified guitar create a very cool audio experience. The horns add an espionage jazz edge. This is pure bachelor pad ecstasy.

Dauphin dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti (Instrumental)

This spaghetti tune oozes the sort of imagery the Treble Spankers developed, but more Spanish and less reverbed. "Dauphin" is a well written piece with a warm melody and tasty rhythm guitar. It's well crafted, and quite memorable.

Wet Wedding dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rippin' double picked lead, chunky rhythm chop, and whammy, with a Cossack feel and plenty of energy. This is a solid and infections number that is a load of fun.

Aspiración dotdotdotdot
Verandah Surf (Instrumental)

Tropical verandah afternoons, like a Mexican bandit version of the sort of image that the Aqua Velvets are so good at creating. It swims with smoothness, and drips suave wink and a nod señoritas via the percussion and sultry horn. Quite refreshing.

Power Grip dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast rides and competition for space on the face, with plenty of maneuvering. The riff gets a little repetitious, but it holds together well enough due to the relentless drive.

El Duro dotdotdot
Private Eye (Instrumental)

"El Duro" slowly creates a dangerous trench coat image with a lesser "I Cover The Waterfront" feel and long whammy. It's very mysterious and you know there's danger just beyond the circle of light from the streetlight. Very effective.

Fuzzball dotdotdot
Big Whammy (Instrumental)

I'm not sure where the title comes in, 'cuz it's neither a fuzz monster, nor rolls like a ball. It does have a distant back of the hall feel, a nasty sort of edge, and a gang feel. Intense drive and big drama.

Pit Stop Stampede dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Whammy dips and a basic riff-rock fifties structure, but with minor Link Wray edge and crashing glissandoes. More crunch than melody, more rock than roll.

Pall Mall dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Repelling down a sand dune pall mall after a maiden fair on a summer afternoon... well at least that's what came to mind. This is a playful tune with warmth and shimmer, and Spanish influences. The drums are interestingly counter to the shimmer of the guitar.

Untitled dotdotdot
Suave (Instrumental)

This is a very short private eye ender, untitled, like parenthetical punctuation hinting of a sequel to come.