Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mad Titans - Journey To Earthdotdotdotdot
artworkJourney To Earth is a journey into a post joy world where they still surf. Surf is blended with punk and an industrial mechanical feeling. The contrast is really interesting. Mostly, I like this CD. Some tracks are really strong. It's obvious a lot of thinking went into arranging the songs - they are much more than AABA, often structurally intriguing. The guitar is too low n the mix much of the time, but that doesn't stop the music from being very engaging and often original. Off the beaten path and worth checking out.
Picks: Journey To Earth, Soliloquy For Gamora, Overture In E Minor, Dark Matter, Solar Winds, Triforce, Cryomagma Crush, To The Hilt, Tetrodotoxin, Infinity Gauntlet, Taco The Wheel, Nanoswarm, Jesus Vs. The Wolfman, That Which Can Not Be Named

Track by Track Review


Journey To Earth dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

In a mechanized future where punk drums and bass rule and an eighties sense of guitaristry reigns, "Journey To Earth" stands out. Strong distortion, flying string swipes, double picking, and occasionally watery chords, along with a few lines from "The Hall Of The Mountain King" create an epic instrumental work. It's a lot more than it seems at the beginning. Punk as art.

Soliloquy For Gamora dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

"Soliloquy For Gamora" spreads a psychedelic spaghetti western image that's really interesting, like a minor Mermen track in the Italian sun. This is a really cool track that I found to be very pleasing. The final verse speeds up and brings in a punkabilly beat.

Mandatory Abortions dotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

This is an easy moving number with a long gradual introduction. As it evolves, "Mandatory Abortions" becomes dissonant and angular with a mechanical beat.

Overture In E Minor dotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

A "Walk Don't Run" intro, thundering bass and drum action, and double picked darkness carry "Overture In E Minor" into a future rift in the fabric of the sea. Intense and gutty, with some fine double picked edge and big time drama.

Dark Matter dotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

With a circular riff, "Dark Matter" travels a semi-ska road with some flying guitar lines augmented in stereo delay. As the title suggests, it's dark and dangerous.

Solar Winds dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

beginning as a solo acoustic guitar on scratchy vinyl, "Solar Winds" quickly becomes a beautiful Spanish flavored number with a slightly sad melody and moody ambiance. Some very nice muted reverb notes drop into the beginning of guitar lines for a cool effect. Excellent!

Triforce dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

With the drama of a theme, "Triforce" opens, but then a cowpunk beat comes along, and it changes to a western adventure with cool double picked guitar and safety pin rhythms. This song becomes more interesting over time, and has a number of engaging changes in texture and arrangement.

Cryomagma Crush dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The title suggest a heavy track, but "Cryomagma Crush" is a lighter surf instrumental with relatively traditional structure and an eighties aural mix - i.e. not Fender outboard reverb. Long chords, muted reverb, glissandos and pulsing rhythm are blended well for this very nice track. The melody line is very pleasant, and the general surf sound cool. I like this track.

To The Hilt dotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

"To The Hilt" has a somewhat future industrial imagery created by cool drums and bleak bass, and some long digital reverb on the guitar. Surf with very cool non-surf drums and dissonant guitar, offset by glissandos and a watery feel, suggest the tomorrow that Rinder and Lewis sang about. With a very well developed arrangement, I found myself vacillating between high three and low rating... in the end the starkness of the image was what I connected with less.

Tetrodotoxin dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

"Tetrodotoxin" is a very interesting track. It's ominous in a no-future kind of way, yet has some really nicely double picked adventure and hopefulness about it. Part punk, part surf, and part stormy future. The "Hava Nagila" verses are priceless!

Infinity Gauntlet dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

"Infinity Gauntlet" rises gently with acoustic guitar, horn-like keys and a whistle like a good spaghetti western. From there, the textures get coarser, but the image only morphs from classic to future. Drama, power, and an evolving pace and arrangement. By the time it hits full tilt, it has become a heavy surf thrash. Very well though out.

Taco The Wheel dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

Delicate acoustic guitar and artful electric blend with superb bass and drums to create a mournful image of a post-storm lagoon. As the drama rises, "Taco The Wheel" becomes more intense and dangerous. Several really nice changes add interest. Very well played and nicely arranged.

Nanoswarm dotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

"Nanoswarm" seems to drive from a riff dominated place where danger lurks. Dissonant, angular, and future stark.

Jesus Vs. The Wolfman dotdotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

Muted notes and bass cycle like a nervous clock in the opening, then graduate to nervous angularity. There are some very cool chords and double picked danger midstream that create a serious image of something just out of sight that's going to get you.

That Which Can Not Be Named dotdotdot
Surf Punk (Instrumental)

Verging on horror tension and drama, "That Which Can Not Be Named" suggests unseen threats. Adventurous and dramatic.