Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Magnificent Escapades - A Narrow Escape
|The Magnificent Escapades were from Oxfordshire, England, and were self described as "Beat and Surf Adventurers." They were yet another Sir Bald Diddley creation. |
Baldy played guitar and wrote many of the tunes. The band is "led" by writer/guitarist Gerbs, and backed by bassist T. J. Parker and drummer Harry-the-Youth. Keith Morris of the Green Hornets plays organ. OK, so that's the lowdown on these guys.
The whole thing was recorded "at home" by Baldy, and that is very apparent in the listening. The unfortunate thing is that care was not taken to balance the sound as was the case in the old days of ambient mics, and this has left the lead guitar entirely too low in the murk. The performances are inspired, but you have to wade through the mud of the production, or lack there of. A lot of this is just plain amateur, and most is too murky to bother with.
Picks: Depth Charge, Monte Carlo, Undertow, Mr. Morris Struts His Stuff, Narrow Escape, Hawaiian Job, Mexican Connection, The Cribber, Esc-of-Pades, The Swag In The Bag, Fandango
Track by Track Review
"Depth Charge" is little more than a riff-surf rhythm backtrack with organ. On the gloomy side, and distantly thunderous.
"Monte Carlo" is another riff dominated rhythm section led by with organ. The rhythm is infectious. Too bad it's so murky sounding.
"Undertow" is a very eerie and moody surf tune that employs a "Pipeline" rhythm. It would be great if the sound was better, but even in this muddy setting, it's emotional and dangerous.
Mr. Morris Struts His Stuff
Organ Frat Rock (Instrumental)
"Mr. Morris Struts His Stuff" is aptly named, given Keith Morris' organ leads.
Frat Rock (Instrumental)
"Narrow Escape" owes its life to a riff rhythm and the organ.
"Hawaiian Job" is actually the Ventures' TV theme "Hawaii Five-0." Amateur at best, and way to murky!
Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)
"Mexican Connection" is the highlight of this set. It's a very cool spy-surf number, with a fuzz guitar and big whammy. A little carnival, and a little thick, yet very cool.
Garage Surf (Instrumental)
"The Cribber" must be a really cool song, 'cuz I found myself actually able to listen despite a really awful mix, if such a word as mix can even be applied.
"Esc-of-Pades" is actually Link Wray's "Ace Of Spades." Thick and garagy, and pretty darn pedestrian.
Spy Surf (Instrumental)
Danger at Spies-R-Us! Ultra simple and playful in that Pink Panther cute way. Interesting.
Frat Rock (Instrumental)
"Fandango" (the instrumental version) is very much a riff-surf rhythm track with organ. Kinda thumpy, like a Kingsmen B-side.