Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Lava Rats - 4 Tracks 3 Guys 1 Basementdotdotdot
artworkAs the title implies, the three Lava Rats cut these 4 track demos in their basement. Some promising material lies within. The last track is a rockabilly vocal called "Grease Monkey."
Picks: Mr. Moto, I Wanna Be Sedated, Church Key, Pachinko, Runaway, Poor Jerusalem, Nightfall, Apache, Baja / Rumble

Track by Track Review

Mr. Moto dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Lava Rats acoustically deliver a reverent and exotic "Mr. Moto," with bongos, and acoustic glissandoes. Surprisingly cool, this often covered song is re-imagined. Quite fun.

I Wanna Be Sedated dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picking, flying guitaristry, grumbly bass, and solid drums. The Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated" gets the reverb treatment, and works surprisingly well as a surf instro. Darn cool!

Church Key dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Revels' classic party anthem "Church Key" is covered in a traditional surf format. While not unlike many others, it's also very fun, bringing out the brew craving as required.

Pachinko dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pachinko" is more about energy than melody, with cries of "Pachinko" between lines of a hard rockin' surf jam. Great crunch and punch!

Runaway dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendid version of Del Shannon's "Runaway." It shimmers with reverb and stays close to the original's intent and the surf idiom's foundation.

Poor Jerusalem dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is what you might consider to be the demo for the track on OmOm's Jesus Christ Surferstar compilation. "Poor Jerusalem" is dramatic and fluid, and is an interesting choice for a surf instro. Melodic and very cool, with damped reverb and surf splash.

Nightfall dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This basement take of "Nightfall" rocks, with a more trad sound than the studio take. Fast and fun.

Apache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jerry Lordan's classic "Apache" is played slow and silky, with a smooth surfability and haunted guitar sound. Nice take.

Baja / Rumble dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with drums, Lee Hazelwood's classic "Baja" is sultry and exotic, and dripping with reverb. Link Wray's "Rumble" merges reverb and fuzz for a menacing performance.