Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mach IV - Road Testdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the first release from San Francisco's surf super group the Mach IV. These tracks were ambiently recorded live. The performance is excellent, and given this bands luminary lineup, this CD-R is an essential addition to your library.
Picks: Surf Party, Whangaroa, Astro Boy, Lullaby Of The Leaves, Midnight Run, Fogcutter, Perfidia, What's In The Trunk Harry?, New York, Yellow Jacket, Baja, Sunset Beach, Wonderful Land

Track by Track Review

Surf Party dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Born of thrash and surf, the Mach IV focus on the rhythm and fire of this classic soundtrack score originally from the Astronauts. Simply a nice take.

Whangaroa dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

'Los' Mel Waldorf's latest composition shows he hasn't lost his touch. Aside from excellent writing, his lead work here is poignant and powerful. "Whangaroa" has a moving melody that's both picturesque and enjoyable.

Astro Boy dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shigemi Komiyama's very well written song sounds better than ever under the axes of the Mach IV. "Astro Boy" is a variation on the "Penetration" riff lies just beneath this melodic surf charmer. It's stylish and energetic, powerful and ringing. Very fine and most fitting a surf set, with glissandoes and that surf rhythm. Sometimes called "E: Astro Boy."

Lullaby Of The Leaves dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As Ferenc Dobronyi said in introducing "Lullaby Of The Leaves," this probably goes back a long way. Most of us were introduced to it by the Ventures. While this is substantially the V-boys arrangement, it's more vibrant and reverby too. Nice choice.

Midnight Run dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Born of Richard Burns' pen and Richie Podolor's guitar, "Midnight Run" is thee definitive Super Stocks instro. The Mach IV recreate it with their own twist, transforming it into a flowing surf epic.

Fogcutter dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ferenc Dobronyi's newest original "Fogcutter" sounds kinda Pollo Del Mar-ish, with sparkling plucked notes and beautiful whammy. Melodic and very smooth, and punctuated with glissandoes and great drums, it captures the imagination and the spirits of the fog bank.

Perfidia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This tune had made the rounds of the big bands in the forties, then mostly languished in neglect until the Ventures "applied their template" to it. The Mach IV opened the show with a surfy presentation of Alberto Dominguez's "Perfidia." Their arrangement is steeped in the Ventures' tradition, but sports more reverb and dynamic chops.

What's In The Trunk Harry? dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big vibrato chords and deep twang over a slow moody backtrack, with a cautiously optimistic melody driving the woody. "What's In The Trunk Harry?" is a very smooth and catchy Los Mel original, with silky glissandoes and surf chunk.

New York dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a solid original from Shigemi Komiyama that he brought from his days with Shig and Buzz, somewhat in the Euro style, but with a foot in the surf. Semi-fast back track, with a sad yet optimistic melody that captures your interest. Very pretty, and well arranged.

Yellow Jacket dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Those prolific Ventures gave us many a fine tune, including "Yellow Jacket." The coolest parts of the whole track are bee-sting pick slides. Very cool!

Baja dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

If you boiled the surf genre down to a half dozen songs, "Baja" would be one of them. In his early career, Lee Hazelwood sure knew how to turn a melody line. This is on the gentle side, with the requisite chunky rhythm and precision. Love it.

Sunset Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There are precious few covers of this most happy and infectious Sentinals instro. With more reverb, the Mach IV borrow from the Surf Piranhas classic ska arrangement, racking up top score for power and fun.

Wonderful Land dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I've never really liked this song much, though Shadows aficionados seem to cherish it. Then, the Mach IV brought life to it, and suddenly I "got it." Great performance.