Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Nelson Montana - Don't Fear... The Reverb!dotdotdot
artworkThis is an ambitious solo project - all instruments played by Nelson Montana. Unlike virtually all others, this shows some serious arranging and lots of very strong playing. If you've gone deep enough into the vaults, you'll here many things that have been done before, but there is also plenty of imagination at work, and again, this disc is packed with strong performances.
Picks: Apache, Nitro, Pipeline, Big Swell, Rocket Man, The Lonely Sea

Track by Track Review

Apache dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

"Apache" is tribal in a sort of military way, with edgy tone and some nice fills. This is an interesting arrangement of Jerry Lordan's classic instro. There have been others from which you could imagine this derived, though most are obscure enough that it's likely coincidental.

Diamond Head dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

Here we have a modern reinvention of Danny Hamilton's surf classic. This song has been rearranged many times in modern and traditional styles. This is perhaps most similar to the Summer Breeze version, though grittier and less dance oriented.

Nitro dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's "Nitro" is very rhythmic as required, and fairly metallic. It's certainly an original arrangement, and the song does lend itself to this sound. Metal guitar hero fills and some very interesting goings on.

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

Interestingly, "Surf Rider" is more like The Ventures original than The Lively Ones classic, but more modern with metal edges.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

In a sort of exotic metal vein, and certainly a considerable distance from The Chantays' original, Nelson Montana plays this at a lumbering pace with soaring tone and adventurous bass. It's psychedelic and disturbed at times. I didn't think I'd like it, but it grew on me.

Big Swell dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

"Big Swell" has very strong arrangement. Layers of guitars and a driving rhythm. The almost-cardboard drum sound detract from an adventurous melody line and otherwise almost Bozone/Surf Punks style. I like this.

Atlantis dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

Another Jerry Lordan song from The Shadows, done in a slow and layered style, with long sustain and modern rock tone. Pretty interesting.

Telstar dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

Engaging opening effects yield to a straight forward modern cover, not unlike several from the eighties (Evan Johns and the H-Bombs, The Humans). It all works pretty well.

The Chasm dotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

Moody and spatial, "The Chasm" sports deliberate percussion that is almost industrial. Pretty nice track, but not more than a mood.

Rocket Man dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

This is a rhythmic and textured version of "Samovar." It's part way between The Vanguards' version and British rock. There are some very well played lines, and the layered sound adds a thick powerful wash.

The Lonely Sea dotdotdot
Metal Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures' "The Lonely Sea" opens with gurgling water lapping at the shore, moves into distant tribal drums, and finally a very respectful cover. Lovely and fluid, with excellent moodiness. Part modern, part vintage.