Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Madeira - Rehearsal Recordingsdotdotdotdotdot
artworkThese 15 songs were recorded in rehearsal, but aside from the somewhat muddy sound, this could easily be a great album. the performances are stunningly good. the writing is superb. The covers are very well done. Some enterprising label needs to grab these guys before they slip away!

The Madeira are the new surfband from former Space Cossacks leader Ivan Pongracic. The lineup is Dane Carter - drums, Scott Waddell - bass, Patrick O'Connor - rhythm guitar, and Ivan Pongracic - lead guitar. Ivan, Scott and Dane are also members of the Troubadours, and Patrick is the lead guitar player in Destination: Earth! from Indianapolis.
Picks: Sun and Sand, Sandstorm, Express To Baghdad, El Caliph, Burning Mirage, Almoraima, Cordoba, Crescent Moon, Ricochet, Dilmohammed, Desert Drums, The Secret Route, Intruder, The Oasis, The Victor

Track by Track Review


Sun and Sand dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very atmospheric and haunting guitar solo that sets a mood of distant expectation. It may serve as an intro to "Sandstorm." Very pretty.

Sandstorm dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

High energy and hard driving, "Sandstorm" is double picked low-E power with a scenic exotic quality. The glissandos remind me of Slacktone at times, but everything else is quite original, and stunningly played.

Express To Baghdad dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Atlantics' classic album track "Express To Baghdad" is an interesting vehicle for the Madeira because its original blend of surf and the Shadows intensified is so well suited as a natural foundation for the power and intensity of this band. Very strong.

El Caliph dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The drums and bass call up "Mar Gaya" as an underpinning for "El Caliph." It may be based on Randy Holden's masterpiece, but it's also quite original. Similar power and threatening stomp rhythm, but with the guitars' tone so different, as well as the advancing melody, it's really its own song. Excellent!

Burning Mirage dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Beginning softly, "Burning Mirage" moves into a rapid fire pummeling of the desert silence. An assault on the sights and smells of the Bedouin camp. Dribbling surf guitar, and aggressive intensity.

Almoraima dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Moody and ominous, "Almoraima" is a scenic piece with a dramatic overtone. It's a very artful track musically, and the drama of Paco DeLucia's composition is startlingly augmented by the band.

Cordoba dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cordoba" is a faster song with an urgency that carries it forward. On the dangerous side, and melodically exotic, it is serious surf for a dangerous age.

Crescent Moon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Crescent Moon" begins softly, but quickly evolves in to a moody and lush song with a circular melody line that's haunting and sad. It's a very pretty song with profound emotional content. Spatial and moving.

Ricochet dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big drama and intensity fill every corner of this fine song. "Ricochet" is thick and melodic, and quite compelling. Structurally, it reminds me of the Treble Spankers. Excellent!

Dilmohammed dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Treble Spankers originated this song. The Madeira recreate it in a more thicker and more dominating arrangement. Big thunder and awesome drama.

Desert Drums dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an adventurous romp across the sands of a desert where tribal thunder commands the day. Great drums of course, especially in the solo, but the song is not all about the drums. The guitars splash and create drama and urgency. A wonderful track!

The Secret Route dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythmic and dramatic, "The Secret Route" is a slightly dangerous song with an uneasy sense of things just over the horizon. Dark, but also a little optimistic.

Intruder dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Coasters' "Intruder" is played in complete form with both the gentle introduction and the fire breathing electric assault sections in full force. Stunningly well played. I think the Surf Coasters would be pleased!

The Oasis dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This soft and moody song calls to the night with a savvy sense of sensuality, filtered by an outpost along a risky route across the desert. Dramatic and engaging, like a film score.

The Victor dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The song that inspired Randy Holden's "Mar Gaya " is arranged with flair and originality, yet retains the intensely hypnotic nature of the song. Very Middle Eastern and moody. An outstanding cover!