Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Monster Pete and the Chiefs - Serpentine [rough mixes]dotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a CD-R of an album in progress from a new band with a completely new sound. Where the radio edit CD-R demands attention, this holds you for ransom. I am stunned by the degree to which this band has taken an artistic look at surf as a platform for well written and original music. The two covers are so completely rethought, they might as well be originals. This is definitely a band with a whole new vision.
Picks: The Mellow Serpentine, End Of War, Attack, New Frontier, Six Degrees, DreamPipe, Turbulent Epsilon / Miserlou, Preventative Implosion, Todo, Grandma Gets Mad, Simple Machine [It's Not Wedge], X-Philes, In Cognito, Surf Song

Track by Track Review


The Mellow Serpentine dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Right away your struck by the power driven thick sound of Monster Pete! Heavy double picked leads, spitfire glissandoes, and energy like a slightly slowed down Torpedoes with a spiffy organ accompaniment. This is really a nice track, not very melodic, but very powerful. It has a relentlessness about it like you'd expect from a long storm tube. Wow!

End Of War dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"End Of War" features crunchy surf over military drums, dark tones and an interesting riff. There are some elements of detective drama, some pristine surf chords, and a pile of urgency. The slow wah wah break guitar is really cool. Nice arrangement, arty but not pompous.

Attack dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As the title goes, so goes the invasive nature of the track. It's not staccato, it's like raining napalm. Evil and conflict, and many fine changes. This is dramatic, and also quite moving. Great listening.

New Frontier dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"New Frontier" is a playful tune, a little like a Mancini piece, with a cowboy suave beat and an almost carnival organ. The lumbering liquid cactus romp with alternating guitar and organ leads is amazingly infectious. The dramatic break yields magically back to the almost cartoon quality of the main theme. This is really fun, with western nut house ideas. I like this a lot!

Six Degrees dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

My goodness, what an interesting song. It is a very simple progression, but the two guitars work so well together and the textures are so unusual that it doesn't matter. Fine tune, and major fun. Too cool!

DreamPipe dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Chantays' "Pipeline" lives in the crevices of this track. It is their tune, but it's hiding in the shadows of your dark dreams. It's a stunningly original treatment of thee surf archetype. The atmospherics make it seem like a distant black line on the horizon that's looming in the future, where you're gonna eat sand at its hands. Very nice.

Turbulent Epsilon / Miserlou dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a dramatic power number, like a theme from a sci-fi film about surfing on Mars or something. It draws it's power from a a riff that is surf driven, but not at all in the traditional sense. Mid track, the glissando drops into a fiery "Miserlou" with a slithery cool organ lead on some verses, with the same mysterious tone used in "New Frontier." It all end in sudden death. Quite dramatic.

Preventative Implosion dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This opens with a sample from some B-movie, like as if the BBC would actually carry a story of the capture of a monster off the coast of Ireland. The track itself is somewhat different then the others here, with bongos and less melodic riff line supported by solid energy and chunky rhythm.

Todo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a frantic nerve shattering energy and pace, and blood curdling screams a la Pink Floyd's "Careful Wit That Axe Eugene," this frightening track takes you through several changes, dropping down into a deceptive calm before the rise if a relentless storm. It's very theatrical, and very unusually arranged and written. It's a movie for your ears, a vision of surfing in Oz.

Grandma Gets Mad dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow creeping organ and bongos over the sounds of the surf with an eerie, almost haunted sound that exposes images of stone castles on a fog shrouded coast, and dimly lit goings-on within. It's very much like a piece that might roll under the closing credits of a quite-mysterious film. Pretty cool, and very moody.

Simple Machine [It's Not Wedge] dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like the complete morph of the Chantays' "Pipeline" in "DreamPipe," this unique treatment of the Dick Dale classic shreds and pummels, drifts through numerous dramatic changes, and simply pours out the energy of the waves at the Wedge. The suave arrangement is slower than the Dickster's, which provides a new foundation for the moodiness of this rendering. It's very much their own.

X-Philes dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This mysterious track opens with a hyper-dramatic double picked slow riff, with all the pomp of a spaghetti western. It drops into a lumbering long flowing note bridge over an Indian beat that quickly morphs into a Greek rhythm and a Mediterranean melody line. This is really very adventurous, with a super cool ambiance and a moody darkness.

In Cognito dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark tones and a mean melody are placed of a solid thunder, with speedy glissandoes and a very edgy sound. Not melodic, but very effective and powerful. A fine arrangement.

Surf Song dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is entirely unsurf... it is a very suave jazzy thing, and exotica adventure with bongos and offbeat sound. It's like a playful reverbed interpretation of the early sixties bachelor film score. Most unusual. It ends with a nice drop into a ringing chord and a reverbed chopped note. Cool.