Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Man or Astro-MAN? - Beyond The Black Holedotdotdot
artworkFans of MoAM will slurp and lick their lips, and others will wonder why. Some of their more melodic original work is here, and the remixes help some too, but they remain a band that writes material which barely rises above backtrack, made more palatable by samples and sound effects, which get old pretty quickly. For you fans, dig this as I know you will. The uninitiated who like frat surf or basic gimmicky instros, this is for you. Looking for strong writing and great fiery surf melodies, keep looking. Most of these tracks were originally issued on the "What Remains Inside A Black Hole" LP on AuGoGo (Australia), and were recorded between '93 and '94.
Picks: The Wayward Meteor, Rovers, The Quatermass Phenomena, Polaris, The Vortex Beyond, 24 Hours, Surf Terror, The Powerful Fully-Transistorized Dick Tracy Two-Way Wrist Radio, Reverb 1000, Transmissions From Venus, Green-Blooded Love, Within A Martian Heart

Track by Track Review


The Wayward Meteor dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark reverby surf grind, with a strong riff and lots of spacy echo. Pretty powerful and very melodic for this band. Way fun.

Rovers dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked with flying glissandoes and edgy guitar tone. Tuff surf for an attacking army, with samples of the sound Rover made in the ITC television series The Prisoner.

The Quatermass Phenomena dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythmic and edgy, this riff-rocker has a dark side and a light side. Darkness oozes from every corner, while light shines from behind out of the window of Dr. Quatermass' lab.

Polaris dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and dark twang power this riff dominated number. It never quite develops a melody, though the variations of the progressions does keep it from getting lost. Edgy and driven hard.

The Vortex Beyond dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dripping reverb, mentally unbalanced soundage, pickslide weirdness, and murky pummeling. Disturbing note bending stands between riff rock and masterpeice, giving it just enough edge and curious interest to make the cut.

24 Hours dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

KInda funky and chumpy, but not melodic enough to rise from the tortured soul. The vibrato guitar is great sounding, it's just unfocused. There is a kind of tango mentality about it.

Surf Terror dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surf Terror" is a dark and grodie surfism, a kind of reverberating vibratocized adventure in non surf melody structure with big wave edge.

The Powerful Fully-Transistorized Dick Tracy Two-Way Wrist Radio dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A long pickslide and trashy drums run beneath a fifties rock progression with damped second guitar and associated weirdness. Unnerving and gutty.

Reverb 1000 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There's a ton of reverb in here, and sonar pings, and post surf danger lurking below the surface. The melody riff is not really surfy, but rather oddly scary, like a submarine shot out of Victory At Sea. Very playful, and it seems to grow on, but so do warts.

Transmissions From Venus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow distant guitar slowly comes into focus with dripping reverb and spooky tone. Once it arrives front and center, a riff evolves from the ashes of "Batman," with big twang and extra trash.

Green-Blooded Love dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Green-Blooded Love" is a stop-start thing with a frat structure and a dominant riff.

Within A Martian Heart dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums, haunting vibrato chords, growling monsters, and eerie sound... samples and sci-fi sfx.