Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mermen - Sunken Treasuredotdotdotdot
artworkThis CD chronicles one hot night in Seattle in early 1997. All live and loaded with their trademark sound, pristinely recorded by Roz Jones. This band's live performances are very magical, and often far more inspired then their studio work. Part of the reason for Jim's preference for multiple amps and complicated effects matrices is his need for something on the edge of out of control to counterbalance his complete guitar control. The pressure of that immediacy adds an another element to the music that can only be experienced when you can't go back and fix it. This is a stellar live set of music.
Picks: Pulpin' Line, With No Definite Future (And No Purpose Other Than To Prevail Somehow...), Scalp Salad, Curve, Joni Mitchell's House, Varykino Snow, The Silly Elephant That Stomped To Tea, Blue Xoam, Latin'ia, Casbah, Dancing In Her Sleep, Drub

Track by Track Review

Pulpin' Line dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As always, this super pumping double picked powerhouse number grinds you dust with it's shredding big sound and pummeling rhythm section.

With No Definite Future (And No Purpose Other Than To Prevail Somehow...) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very slow and melodic. This has a haunting and magnet quality to it. When they played this at Winter Swell, Allen announced it as "With No Definite Uncle Al And No Purpose Other Than To Prevail Somehow..." in thanks to Uncle Al for mastering the limited edition Xmas CD-R for them.

Scalp Salad dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A strong melody line and ample edge and drama. A solid performance, as always.

Curve dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Huge surf grinder with delightful post-"Church Key" whammy dips and immense power. Double picked dark paean to the immense power of the waves.

Joni Mitchell's House dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Joni Mitchell? Don't be afraid. Jim demonstrates his ability to create magic where only paved parking lots once stood. A slow quirky melody line.

Varykino Snow dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of Jim's most melodic songs, well played and inspiring. This song displays both surf roots and a more formal musical training. An absolutely wonderful song.

The Silly Elephant That Stomped To Tea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Timbales heaven! This is what the drum was invented for. Never mind that Latin stuff, this is magical. It is one of the great Mermen songs, delicate and high powered. Highly melodic and infectious.

Blue Xoam dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A huge double picked surf monster, intense and moody, fast and powerful. Nuff said!

Latin'ia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the only released performance of this song, except as par of the "Middle Eastern Medley." It is a surf standard, written by the incomparable Tommy Nuñes and recorded originally by the Sentinals. Jim's interpretation renders it his, changed dramatically, yet retaining the intended feeling and art. A beautiful song played in a remarkably powerful and pretty way.

Casbah dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Every recording of this powerhouse Richie Podolor tune that the Mermen have issued is stellar! I love the whammy dips, the howling feedback, and middle jam. It leaves you both drained and begging for more.

Dancing In Her Sleep dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A beautiful rendition of this extremely pretty and romantic song. It's nice to see them still doing it live.

Drub dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Wow. Hot performance of a most difficult and unusual song, full of unexpected almost unnatural melodies, lots of energy, and wham. Grand.