Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Monsters From Mars - 2004: A Space Odysseydotdotdot
artworkI was generous with the song ratings by overlooking the low quality audio and production on some tracks because I think there's some solid music here that warrants more attention to production values. Then again, it might be just the way Monsters From Mars like it.

The vocals on this releases are gloomy and demented, particularly the reverb-drenched cover of Credence Clearwater Revivals updating of the Golliwogs' "Walk On The Water." Also of note is the choice of "You Better Tell Me Now" as a cover, the one vocal released by the Fender IV. The way they murk out "Jezebel" is also very interesting, like a dark love song born of an asylum. "The Cat Came Back" is quite fun - who is this from - the Splatcats?
Picks: It Came From Red Alert, Escape From Castle Wolfenstein, Happy In A Cage, The Long Ride Home, Botany Of Desire, 1/00=0; You Are Nothing, Put It On, Hey! Devotchka, Filibuster On The Dance Floor, Well Trained To Play Catch, Pollution In The Ocean, Don't Go, Telstar

Track by Track Review

It Came From Red Alert dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"It Came From Red Alert" is dangerous and attractive in a doomsday kinda way, with an angular and eerie double picked lead. It's thick and thrashy, and semi melodic, but more about the darkness of danger.

Escape From Castle Wolfenstein dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a heavy and monstrous song with big crash chords and low double picked lead lines. The melody line is all about horror, but is decked out in surf. "Escape From Castle Wolfenstein" is more adventurous and developed, with an imposing sound.

Happy In A Cage dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Monsters From Mars launch into a thick riff rocker of angry proportions where fast double picked doom abounds. Not very melodic, perhaps like some Man or Astro-Man? instros.

The Long Ride Home dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Only slightly reminiscent of Johnny Barakat's "The Long Ride," this track is an interesting composition with more of a melody than some here, and enough changes to keep it fresh throughout.

Botany Of Desire dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Botany Of Desire" features a fine melody line with a haunting sadness. Moody and splashy, with tribal thunder and very cool faux electric piano. It's an entirely fun track with lots of possibilities.

1/00=0; You Are Nothing dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"1/00=0; You Are Nothing" is almost a vocal with voice really buried amongst dark surf double picking. Dark, moody, thumpy, and powerful. An intense experience of nearly morose tone and chord bashing.

Put It On dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Richard Podolor's "Put It On" is hard driven and very strong. Stronger and much more in your face than the original Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers version, this pumps and drives for the kill. Quite cool!

Hey! Devotchka dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's all about the "heys" and the rhythm. The melody is very close to Five More's "Avalanche." It sure has a classic edge, but is also maybe a bit like the Surfites' catchy "Dana Point" in some ways. Powerful and fun.

Filibuster On The Dance Floor dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Filibuster On The Dance Floor" is a thrashy chord basher all about stompin' and chompin'.

Well Trained To Play Catch dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an ominous progression number that's just shy of interesting. More like a dark frat rocker, but with reverb.

Pollution In The Ocean dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pollution In The Ocean" is a solid surf rocker with a dark sound and fury. Double picked and aggressive, with a downer melody line. Some flying guitar lines here.

Don't Go dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Don't Go" is a somewhat sad song with a dark sound and interesting drums. Mid tempo, gloomy, and almost desperate, with just a hint of a future you might not want. Dramatic and nearly evil.

Telstar dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

the organ takes the lead in Joe Meek's "Telstar." It's not the dark swirler that the Tornados' hit with, but it's sort of carnival in space sounding with a grin via the keys.