Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Modelos - S/Tdotdotdotdot
artworkBoy, howdy! The Modelos rock! They are Canadian cowboys with edge and twang. Their songs are gritty and beautiful, western and surf. It's amazing how they all seem to grow on you. Totally wonderful writing and playing.

Ambient drums limit this to 4 stars, but the music is undeniably strong. This must be one hell of a band live!
Picks: Somewhere West, Down The Dusty Trail, Ode To Ennio, Hot Dog Alley, Skeleton Dance, Blood On The Saddle, Dirty Bird, Curse Of The Cowboy, Bud Bustin, Toke And Stagger, Trouble In Paradise

Track by Track Review


Somewhere West dotdotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

Intense distortion lends edge to the twang of "Somewhere West." The song presents a western image that's really hard to resist. This western surf epic is totally cool, with amazing arranging, especially the way the horn is used to give it a mysterious southwest feel. Superb!

Down The Dusty Trail dotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

"Down The Dusty Trail" meanders behind the critters as they wander the rolling plains. The melody and arrangement are very compelling. I must say, this really grows on you as you listen.

Ode To Ennio dotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

With a lumbering gate, "Ode To Ennio" is intended as a nod to the master-inventor of the spaghetti western genre. While the pace and image make that clear, the rhythm shouts it out loud. Grins all around.

Hot Dog Alley dotdotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

With ample cuteness, "Hot Dog Alley" bounces along with grins in tow. I don't mean that at all in a negative way. The song is based around a simple and catchy riff, and it literally plays in its own sandbox. Too fun.

Skeleton Dance dotdotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

Throbbing tremolo gives this slow number edge. It moves at a deliberate pace through the graveyard of your mind. A bit spooky, yet kind of sultry. The organ adds a spiritual sense to this sort of Link Wray-ish number.

Blood On The Saddle dotdotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

"Blood On The Saddle" is an infectious country romp with a great beat and superb melody. This sounds like the band Blood On The Saddle, though my guess is that's not the point.

Dirty Bird dotdotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

A light, slightly goofy riff evolves into a rockabilly beat and a nifty melody line. The break is kind of Mediterranean, but otherwise, "Dirty Bird" is all cowboy cool with grode glissandos added. Yee-haw!

Curse Of The Cowboy dotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

With a circular melody riff, "Curse Of The Cowboy" prances down the line. What first struck me as a bit of a goofy melody line, very quickly endeared itself to me.

Bud Bustin dotdotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

"Bud Bustin" has lots of surf and Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet in its core. Great chords, double picked lines, huge twang, and those magical ringing chords. Magnificent!

Toke And Stagger dotdotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

Big energy and brash edge give the melody riff its angst, while the second guitar plays long leaning chords as the bass and drums simply pump. "Toke And Stagger" is an aggressive rompster.

Trouble In Paradise dotdotdotdot
Western Surf (Instrumental)

A kind of tango de aggro, "Trouble In Paradise" is engaging, refreshing, and completely cool. It's hard to imagine not getting sucked in.

After a bit of silence, the band rips into a rousing live version of Johnny Burnette's classic "Lonesome Train On A Lonesome Track," a song that's as much a rockabilly standard as any song could be. Great track!