Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Maraca Five-0 - Headin' South at 110 Perdotdotdotdot
artworkBoulder Colorado's Maraca Five-0 have assembled a fine release. The music is fresh and well crafted, with surf roots and lots of unusual influences. Steve Gray - guitar and Matt Stemwedel - guitar counter each other very well, supported admirably by Theron Melchior - bass and Mike Behrenhausen - drums. Unusual structures and melodies, dripping drama and art, but never losing sight of the surf. If you could take only the gloom and drama out of industrial and overlay surf with it, you might approach what's going on here. I think this one will stand the test of time.
Picks: I'm In League, Gidget's Guns, Headin' South at 110 Per, Dance Elaina, Mystery Board, Defender, Mandelbrot Set, Sour Mash, Jesus Wrecked My Stuff, Night of the Shadow Midgets, The Perfect Shiner, Tube City, Pakistan

Track by Track Review


I'm In League dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"I'm In League" opens softly, with sultry flowing surf notes. It gradually builds to a dramatic twang supported by a solid rhythm. Big thrash, surf guitar, and twang-0! Solid track.

Gidget's Guns dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Nicely fluid, surfy sound, rich double pick and whammy lead, and a melody line that is picturesque and thundering of nasty curl. Excellent stuff.

Headin' South at 110 Per dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The title track mixes gasoline and cactus, CHP and disregard. A fine melody line and spunky performance ring with relentless highway trouble. Shifting between high flying notes and low down double picking, "Headin' South at 110 Per" tells of travel and danger, of adventure and risk. Excellent!

Dance Elaina dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Dance Elaina" is a beautiful piece of guitaristry, big chords ringing out, Spanish influences and dramatic flurries, and an almost film score feel, enhanced by Kelly O'Day's violin. This will grow on you.

Mystery Board dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A great surf track in the third wave trad vein, well written, moody, fluid, and haunting. There's a real sense of scenery here, as well as danger and surf. Excellent track, with warm surf guitar and crisp rhythms.

Defender dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An ultra reverby and spooky intro leads to a gutty low-E double picked thunderfest. It's no exactly melodic, but it thunders with surf guitar, bass and drums. If anything, it's BIG! It also sparkles in the break with a dangerous minor slide into the drink. Quite dramatic and dangerous.

Mandelbrot Set dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mandelbrot Set" has a European disaster feel filtered through reverb. A very unusual track. More big drama in an almost fairly tale yet dangerous setting.

Sour Mash dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A drinkin' epic for the wait for the surf to sire. Mean second guitar, strong surf tones, and thundering rhythm. Huge, wet, dramatic, and intriguing. Twango and desert water torture meet in a back alley.

Jesus Wrecked My Stuff dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With an opening riff morphed from the intro to "Surf Rider," "Jesus Wrecked My Stuff" drips surf and quirk with Spanish flair and nasty Fender twang. Chunky and chop-bustin', yet strangely warm and inviting. The odd rhythm and fine guitar interaction make this magnetic. Very cool!

Night of the Shadow Midgets dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shimmering vibrato lulls you into expecting only dementia, but you are greeted by relentlessly distilled fear and unholy anticipation. A slow and metered approach that is interrupted with a fast pummeling, only to drop back into the flow of fear. The slower parts has the same sorta menacing anticipation as the Astroglides' "Dark Surf."

The Perfect Shiner dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A surf instro in celebration of a black eye is... well... long over due. It's not melodic, but rather a progression kinda thing that lean heavily on intensity and dissonance. Nasty whammy, gnarly echoed guitar, and relentless rhythm.

Tube City, Pakistan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Exotic sitar tones, soft dribbling guitar lines, spooky sounds, and tribal drums... "Tube City, Pakistan" is a rich adventure on exotic waves in mystical lands. It has the kind of imagery portrayed by the Blazers' "Sounds Of Mecca," but with a more deliberate feel. It gradually builds in intensity to a tribal surf beat chunk. Very cool.