Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mermen - Songs Of The Cowsdotdotdotdot
artworkMy absolute favorite band is back with an ep to fill the void between albums, and am I glad. It's release mid tour, and was recorded in the weeks just prior to "Humunga Cowabunga", where they debuted all the new songs. While I love every blessed one on these songs, I'll try to contain myself to the surf tunes here. First off is the new monster surf powerhouse "Curve", slightly inspired by the band of that name. Wow, what a killer tune. Also right up there is "Varykino Snow" and "Meander"! What a beautiful & powerful CD! I think that the budget ep price is a good move too, aiding in the subversive sucking into their camp of the otherwise ignorant or unsure... As the title of the Blue Cheer album said, "Oh Pleasant Hope!"
Picks: Curve, Slipping The Glimpse, Intro (to Varykino Snow), Varykino Snow, A Heart With Paper Walls, Meander, Brain Wash (What Am I Always Waiting For? / A Kiss, Rumination, I Of The Moo)

Track by Track Review


Curve dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A huge surf grinder featuring whammy dips and immense power. A larger than life soundtrack for your soul. It is a double picked dark paean to the ocean's immense power. Great track, and the feedback intro is stellar!

Slipping The Glimpse dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Throbbing melodic feedback gradually yields to a catchy melody line. The track has both delicacy and power. A remarkable bit of writing, and the sounds here are spectacular.

Intro (to Varykino Snow) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A short and pretty bit of ground-laying that seques directly into "Varykino Snow."

Varykino Snow dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of Jim's most melodic songs. This song displays Jim's surf roots and influences, as well as his more formal background. His keyboard training as a mere youth shine through this wonderful song.

A Heart With Paper Walls dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Unusual dissonant coupled notes, relaxed pacing, and gradual big drama permeate this sad song. The artful and delicate nature of this song deliver a nice counterpoint to the power so far.

Meander dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big double picked whammy dipped intro, a mid tempo sad song, with rushed flourishes, and plenty of murder mystery drama. It meanders through numerous changes that are unexpected and work well.

Brain Wash (What Am I Always Waiting For? / A Kiss, Rumination, I Of The Moo) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A suite of songs that are cohesive. Delicate and clean melody lines, sad solo guitar lead lines, melodic and pretty, multi guitar tracks with underlined by wonderful feedback. It's all here, in this most appealing and mood setting piece.