Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Lava Rats - Pitstopdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Lava Rats made their Pitstop on January 18, 2003. It was a fine performance! They played well, and were very professional (no long pauses, not silliness). A tight, highly entertaining show full of reverb and power. they are a fine band - a must see experience.
Picks: Rockaway, Nightfall, PCH, Pacifica, Naughty Pine, Pachinko, Baja / Rumble, XT-202, Bumper Cars, Poor Jerusalem, Blowtorch, Hey Link!, Heat Lightning, Paint It Black

Track by Track Review

Rockaway dotdotdotdotdot
Lava Flow Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and sinewy, with dangerous vibrato and moody chords a la "Harlem Nocturne," placed together in a dark format that lumbers like a creeping lava flow. Interesting and brooding.

Nightfall dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Nightfall" is a rockin' surf instro in the general neighborhood of the Evasions, but darker and more reverby. A rock beat with splashy guitar and a thumpy bass line. Fast and fun, with excellent surfability.

PCH dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Named for the original surf highway, "PCH" (Pacific Coast Highway) begins slowly, but evolves quickly into a mid tempo surf chunker with a cool melody line and chunky reverb energy. This new song is an excellent adventure down a pere-dawn PCH on a stormy morning in search of the perfect spot. Totally cool!

Pacifica dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Lava Rats played Los Straitjackets' "Pacifica" just as if it was theirs, or put another way, just the way it was written. Quite nice!

Naughty Pine dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark power surf in the key of reverb, all punched up and ready to rumble. Tuff drums, rock solid bass, and excellent surf runs. Lots of power and finesse, and some fine glissandos to boot! "Naughty Pine" is another brand new song.

Pachinko dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Grunts of "Pachinko" and "Go" injected between lines of a hard rockin' surf jam. More about energy than melody, much like Sir Bald Diddley and his Wig Outs hard driving "Ginsters A Go-Go!." Great crunch and punch!

Baja / Rumble dotdotdotdot
Surf Fuzz (Instrumental)

This medley segues from an original arrangement of Lee Hazelwood's classic "Baja" to a hard edged cover of Link Wray's "Rumble." "Baja" sports great drums and reverb chunk rhythms, plus a few powerhouse reverb crashes. "Rumble" breaks right into a reverbed fuzz drenched menace. Cool!

XT-202 dotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

A unique opener launches this big twango spyish tune. Some tentative playing, but original writing and arranging. This is ominous and reverby, with some loud string swipes and evil moodiness.

Bumper Cars dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bumper Cars" sounds like an espionage theme for captive drivers. Not fluid, more jerky and deliberate, with real mean twang in the opening.

Poor Jerusalem dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Poor Jerusalem" is dramatic and fluid, and is an interesting choice for a surf instro. An excellent performance and great sound. This is a cover of the song from Jesus Christ Superstar, which the Lava Rats have placed on the forthcoming tribute release Jesus Christ Surferstar.

Blowtorch dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hard driving music, ready for a rumble in the alley. Much more about rage and danger than melody, yet powerful and mean. It may be minimalist melodically, but it sure does pound!

Hey Link! dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hey Link!" is a reverb and fuzz garage rocker. Powerful rock drive, with more energy than panache. On the jammy side.

Heat Lightning dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast drums and reverby thrash chords introduce a powered lead line. A little jammy, but full of danger and raw power. More than that, it's mean and aggressive.

Paint It Black dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Rolling Stones' glorious "Paint It Black" has been the subject of reverb several times. Perhaps the most interesting straight surf cover, this rocks hard and is splendidly arranged. Way cool!