Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Lava Rats - Surfing The Magmadotdotdotdot
artworkThe Lava Rats first "real" album, with 13 surf instros in their punk underpinned brand of dark surf. Some very good tracks here if you're looking for the underbelly of the curl.
Picks: Sundown At The Gallows, PCH, Hey Link!, Shifty-Eyed Surf, Militant Cyclist, Homercles, Naughty Pine, Summer Of Our Discontent, A Phalanx Of Terror, Moss Beach Madness, Blow Torch, Pachinko, Exile In Mantua

Track by Track Review


Sundown At The Gallows dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

"Sundown At The Gallows" is a sluggish nasty big chord distortion power surge at its opening, but soon enough it becomes a spaghetti western surf romp. Dark cowboy rhythm and deep twang. It's a deceptively simple song that draws you in. Playful, yet hazardous.

PCH dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti 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!

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.

Shifty-Eyed Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Shifty-Eyed Surf" is a fine instro that rises from long chords all reverbed out through a dark sorta Earl Hagen-esq progression. Moody and dark, shimmering, splashy, and very cool!

Militant Cyclist dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fine damped reverb rhythm splashes forth a moody pluckster with a tropical disaster feel. Lots of fun, a little gloomy, and a sense of freedom.

Homercles dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and dirty guitar crunches a kind of optimistic downer. Like danger in flower lady's clothes, "Homercles" deceives you into a sense of safety when just over the rise is a pair of thugs waiting to relieve you of your longboard. Splashy, fun, and inventive.

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.

Summer Of Our Discontent dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A soft sad melody line brings forth a flowing sense of emotional uneasiness. Very pretty, and sporting deluxe damped reverb guitar work. The softness and moodiness are well suited for the melody. Excellent.

A Phalanx Of Terror dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dangerously large? Mysteriously cloaked? I don't know, and it doesn't matter. "A Phalanx Of Terror" is a dissonant piece with a disquieting melody line. It's quite unusual, yet intriguing.

Moss Beach Madness dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Structured kind of like a Phantom Surfers original, but much tighter. Kinda dark, stop-start dramatic, and pumping.

Blow Torch dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A long pick slide brings on a Dick Dale-ish thrasher of his modern era. Punky, intense, and fast.

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!

Exile In Mantua dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Exile In Mantua" opens with a glissando to a flailing fast thrasher. Heavy "Dick Rock" for the beach. Mean and very dark