Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mighty Surf Lords - And The Tide Rushes Indotdotdotdot
artworkI really like The Mighty Surf Lords' writing and playing. These songs are really good and very original. I think that a more sympathetic mix with less track reverb would allow more of the power of the music and performance to show, and would also enable minimizing the breathing compression caused by the reverb in mastering. The whole things seems like it's in a foggy tunnel where distinction is lost. It's my considered opinion that this album of songs would be absolutely killer mixed and mastered differently. The songs are superb!
Picks: Mermaiden, Six Gun Surfer, Dancin' With Venus, The Bluest Reef, Bottom Feeder, Murph The Surf, Mental Surf, Paddling Out, Suicide Surfer, The Mighty Bah-Rooom, Away, Surf Ace, It's What She Does

Track by Track Review

Mermaiden dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lush island chords was across the shimmering sands. Once beyond the intro, the lead guitar plays a double picked melody that's playful and uplifting. The mix is washed in reverb, but that doesn't seem to downplay the songs power too much.

Six Gun Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A bit of drama and anticipation introduces a slightly sad melody that's floating in a sea of reverb. The artificial ambiance that creates is very spatial. The lead melody is double pick and engaging. Cool song. This is a cool song.

Dancin' With Venus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Dancin' With Venus" bumps and thumps with tasteful silent breaks for the drums to peak out through. It's a fun track with lots of splashy flair.

The Bluest Reef dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Bluest Reef" is a slow and lush number with misty warmth. The drums are dramatic and emotional, while the guitar is fluid and lush. It's a very nice composition.

Bottom Feeder dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The unusual introduction and very melody writing and structure here are a cross between what guys like Henry Mancini were capable of in an orchestral setting. Very cool!

Murph The Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark and moody, "Murph The Surf" tends toward lumbering relentlessness. Entirely original, somewhat dangerous, and slightly spy. Quite nicely written.

Mental Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In a soothing wash of reverb ambiance, "Mental Surf" acts as mental floss for a rainy day. very visual, this finely written piece is sweeping and lagoon cool. Lush and commanding.

Paddling Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Paddling Out" is a fine song with a warm melody that's slightly dramatic and a little humorous, like a sunny day after a big ride. Sunny in a slightly dangerous way, and very nicely done.

Suicide Surfer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Low dribbling notes in a murky atmosphere predict an ominous instro, and that's what follows. The melody, if played in a higher register, would be happy and playful, but in such a low register, it takes on a dangerous edge. The verses on the higher registers sparkly with surf coolness.

The Mighty Bah-Rooom dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Mighty Bah-Rooom" uses a "Pipeline"-esq rhythm at times, and is washed across a large expanse.

Away dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little sad, a little misty, and a little splashy, "Away" lumbers along like a dirge for a fallen rider. Big and dramatic, with some interesting passages. In many ways, this reminds me of The Concaves.

Surf Ace dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

beneath the murk of the ambient digital reverb lies a romping good time song with adventure and spunk. It's a splashy number with a playful series of lines and augmentations. I imagine this would be simply stunning without the reverb wash.

It's What She Does dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rumbling and slow easy chords paint an island picture, while the drums provide serious drama. The guitar lines are bell-like. It eventually gets much more melodic. Structurally and in the character of the writing, "It's What She Does" reminds me a lot of The Mermen a few years back.