Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Lava Rats - Sundown In The Pitdotdotdotdot
artworkThe Lava Rats popped into the Pit at KFJC on November 13th, 2004 for an hour of deep throated surf instrumentals. It was quite an impressive performance!
Picks: Homercles, Exile In Mantua, Bomb Squad [Squad Car-Bombora], Peligroso, Shifty-Eyed Surf, PCH, Complete Control, Moss Beach Madness, Naughty Pine, My Conviction, Summer Of Our Discontent, Baja / Rumble, Devil's Slide, I Wanna Be Sedated, Sundown at the Gallows

Track by Track Review


Homercles dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I like this better live than in-studio for various reasons, among which are it's much deeper tone and throatier guts. The drums really stand out, and the moodiness really comes out. "Homercles" deceives you into a sense of safety when just over the rise are a pair of thugs waiting to relieve you of your longboard. Splashy, fun, and very inventive.

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

Bomb Squad [Squad Car-Bombora] dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an exceptional pairing of two classic surf instros, Eddie and the Showmen's "Squad Car" and the Original Surfaris' "Bombora." the two songs transition effortlessly with equal danger and angst.

Peligroso dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a brand new song that has not yet been recorded for release. "Peligroso" pulses and pumps below while the guitar fires off a fun and inviting surf melody line. Playful and strong.

Shifty-Eyed Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Shifty-Eyed Surf" is a happy little horror surf instro with danger and moodiness. It rises from long chords through a dark nearly Earl Hagen progression. Delicate and powerful. Moody and dark, shimmering, splashy, and very cool!

PCH dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"PCH" is dedicated to the road of choice for surfers in Southern California. It begins slowly, but evolves quickly into a mid tempo surf intro with a cool melody line. Both fun and dangerous!

Complete Control dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Brand new to the Lava Rats, this Clash cover is destined for inclusion in the forthcoming Clash surf tribute. It's a surprisingly well suited punk classic - well suited for surf that is. Ample energy and reverb.

Moss Beach Madness dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Structured kind of like a Phantom Surfers original, but much tighter and darker, with stop-start drama and pumping drums and bass. Much more interesting live than in-studio.

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.

My Conviction dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A thrashing power shred of a song with surprising surfability. Powerful double picking and bass grumble. Nothing in the original musical ripped, but this sure does.

Summer Of Our Discontent dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Summer Of Our Discontent" sports a soft and sad melody displayed through vibrato and delicate charm. Pretty, moody, with excellent damped reverb. The softness and moodiness are well suited for the melody. Excellent.

Baja / Rumble dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This performance of the medley is very VERY cool. The drums are really good here. It segues from b>Lee Hazelwood's classic "Baja" to a hard edged cover of Link Wray's "Rumble." While sometimes understated, there's no shortage of coolness here.

Devil's Slide dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums drive "Devil's Slide" down highway 1 towards the ever-sliding cliffs. Circular and a bit jammy, but powerful and aggressive, with great drums, solid bass, and rockin' guitar work.

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!

Sundown at the Gallows dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

"Sundown At The Gallows" is a dark cowboy surge of playful horseback meanderings. The dark cowboy rhythm and deep twang really work well here. It's a deceptively simple song that draws you in. Playful, yet hazardous. I asked them to repeat the performance of this song because of an equipment malfunction when they first launched into it at the opening of their set. It was just too cool to let go.