Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Lava Rats - Don't Drink The Waterdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is quite a step forward for the Lava Rats, with very strong drumming, and some very interesting ideas. "Miss Fortune" is a must-have track, worth the price of admission alone.
Picks: Inside The Charnel House, Devil's Slide, Keel Haulin', Don't Drink The Water, Gotham, Peligroso, Under Tone, Dragline, The Flasher, Pistol Grip, Drop The Bomb, Miss Fortune, Suicide Squeeze, Uncredited

Track by Track Review


Inside The Charnel House dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Inside The Charnel House" opens slowly and dramatically, but then reverb crashes usher in a rhythmic chunker with a dark moody sound. The tribal drums are very cool, and the mystery stark. Your undoing lies within.

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.

Keel Haulin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A dank bass line is joined by guitar and drums before an engaging and kind of playful lead circles and dodges. "Keel Haulin'" has a bit of a cartoon grin, but is also dangerous and dark. The fuzz bass, if that's what it is, sounds like bad cabinet rattle, and seriously detracts from this otherwise very cool track.

Don't Drink The Water dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spanish flair and drama, great dripping reverb, and an infectious rhythm converge atop great drums and thundering bass. "Don't Drink The Water" is a superb track with an enduring sound and drama.

Gotham dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Gotham" moves slowly across a wet late night street shiny from the streetlights. The occasional bass cabinet rattle is distracting, but the track is otherwise dramatic and a bit sad, with a very enjoyable flow.

Peligroso dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ultra fine drums, infectious reverb rhythm, rising power, and a stellar synergy bring "Peligroso" to fruition. Open road friendly, this track is well defined and very cool. It pulses and pumps below while the guitar fires off a fun and inviting surf melody line. Playful and strong.

Under Tone dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit brooding, with a riff structured like frat rock in a classic AABA format, "Under Tone" features very strong drums and a playful melody line. The fuzz lead in the break gives it danger.

Dragline dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A superb beat, dark whammy, and dangerous lead lines charge for you, and there's no escape. "Dragline" is not melodic really, more a riff and playful energy, but it sure is cool. The thrashy breaks add extra energy and interest.

The Flasher dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The really low tremolo lead reminds me some of Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, and perhaps that was the intent. Great drums support a playful chunky song with charm and dry wit. It took a bit to grow on me, but I ended up really liking "The Flasher."

Pistol Grip dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Evil fuzz, great drums, circling surf guitar, and grumbly bass. This is like frat rock that's been biker fuzzed out for the surf. The contrasting styles are its strongest feature.

Drop The Bomb dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A siren wails, then a punky thrasher grumbles forth. Great drums and deep rumble support double picked danger. While not melodic, the frantic nature and uneasy tension create quite a stir.

Miss Fortune dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is superb. Spanish flash and emotion, muted great reverb, and the kind of infectious energy, beat, and rhythm that drag you along whether you want to go or not, all mean this is a joy ride. I sure do like this. It will be hard to hold it down the the speed limit with this in the player.

Suicide Squeeze dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Muted chop, dirty fuzz, and an overall nervous feeling ooze from "Suicide Squeeze." It seems perhaps unlike a composition, with more of an collision feeling. Cool drums and wonderful muted reverb in the eerie break, as well rising echo effects.

Uncredited dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There is an extra track out at the end that's stylistically similar to "Suicide Squeeze" I suppose. Fast, dark, aggressive, and with great drums and speedy guitar. Quite cool.