Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mobsmen - Scelerats Syndicatedotdotdotdot
artworkThe Mobsmen play serious surf sounds a la some of the eighties US bands, reflecting mightily on the attack of beefier sixties bands like The Fender IV and The Original Surfaris, but with very different different tonality. The nearest aural reference points are The Wangs and The Apemen, though the recordings are not as beefy or crisp. As a bonus, they cover the lone vocal released by The Fender IV, "You Better Tell Me Now ."

Unfortunately, the sound is mushy mono, no highs or lows, and I think this really limits the power of this CD, especially the drums and bass. It's not mono like old 45's, just mono like the nineties lo-fi bands. Many of these tracks coulda been 5 stars!
Picks: Chunkje, Gridiron Syndicate, Similau, Scelerats Avenue, Cicero Comet, Tandelborstel Twist, Flamenco, Moaning Lisa

Track by Track Review

Chunkje dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark chunky surf sound delivers on the name The melody and energy are very strong, and the chunkiness reigns supreme. Beefy reverb drenched guitar much like The Wangs, with the kind of melody that The Apemen might have penned. Powerful, fun, and very memorable.

Gridiron Syndicate dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spaghetti western chants and imagery in reverb drenched sound. The cowboy galloping beat is magical. The melody is haunting and spacious, and its dripping spring action. Excellent

Similau dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Arden Clar's song of ghosts in the cane field is done much as The Shockwaves did it back in the eighties. This melody came to light via The Surfaris on their initial Decca outing. "Similau" is done with all the chunk and churn that The Mobsmen can muster. Excellent!

Scelerats Avenue dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slowish and moody, "Scelerats Avenue" sports a very cool riff, one I really like. This just may be my favorite track here, in part because it's very original and because of its circular nature. Simply excellent!

Cicero Comet dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cicero Comet" moves at mid tempo with significant energy and great drums. The melody riff is nicely developed and engaging. The bass line stands out in its well suited support to this fine song.

Tandelborstel Twist dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums drive this firebrand double picked chunker, which is really well suited for the eastern European melody line. Intense and powerful.

Flamenco dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The drama and romance of flamenco are fired up with surf guitar, double picking, and shouts of "hey." The song is great, but the shouts detract in my opinion. Lots of spunk and glory.

Moaning Lisa dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Moaning Lisa" is really nicely written, and the drums and bass really work well with the guitar. This has excellent energy and a catchy sound. The drums are superb.