Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Mulchmen - Covered With Mulchdotdotdot
artworkDayton, Ohio's Mulchmen deliver a set of some surf and rock instro covers in their totally unique vision. The two cassette sides are labeled Side Surf (1) and Side Link (2), identifying their musical focus. A strong cassette. Should be on CD I think, even if just for me.
Picks: Good Cop Bad Cop, Bustin' Surfboards, Shake Some Evil, Harlem By The Sea, Cecilia Ann, Rawhide, Commanche, Slinky, Run Chicken Run, Jack The Ripper

Track by Track Review


Good Cop Bad Cop dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's "Good Cop Bad Cop" is delivered with intensity and drive. Edgie surf for the Comedy Central generation. The intro is more a progressional thing, but the main melody is excellent. Full round tones, and precise playing. Excellent work, boys! Lumbering thunder.

Bustin' Surfboards dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Hollywood Tornadoes had their lone minor hit with this song. Mulchmen give it a lighter treatment, less mean and smoother. The whammy dips are replaced by a three note sequence. The break works really well. Nice arrangement.

Shake Some Evil dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Mulchmen do this sad detectivist Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet song in a moody and skulking in the shadows manner. Big drama and minimal complexity. Very nice.

Harlem By The Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Again from Shadowy men on a Shadowy Planet, this really a variation on an old standard called "I Cover The Water Front," covered so well by among others the Viscounts. Spirited and fun, but lacking the charm of the vibrato induced Viscounts take. The Shadowy Men enhancements take this into a more rock territory.

Cecilia Ann dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty straight slight modernization of the original Surftones track, closer to that than the Pixies or Chachi Bobba Fett & the Wookiee covers. It's edgie and modern, but reverent.

Rawhide dotdotdot
Link Wray (Instrumental)

Link Wray's classic cowboy onslaught, moderately paced with spunky intense guitar, ringing with slight distortion, and driven with lots of edge.

Commanche dotdotdot
Link Wray (Instrumental)

Grinding mid-tempo rendering of the Linkster's oft-covered chord progression rifforama. Big and well delivered.

Slinky dotdotdotdot
Link Wray (Instrumental)

Totally cool version of Link Wray's tune. This is a fine balance of tribal fun, Link Wray intensity, and throbbing intrigue. Excellent track. I've often wondered if "Slinky" was named after the toy or a slinky female. Certainly the tribal strip-walk drums say femme fatale, and I think it slightly predates the advent of the amazing Slinky I loved so as a child.

Run Chicken Run dotdotdot
Link Wray (Instrumental)

Covered by more than a few (including Los Straitjackets), this is edgier than most, less barnyard and more back alley. mean and playful.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdot
Link Wray (Instrumental)

Using a melody line from "Dazed and Confused" in some pretty cool places, this stellar version of Link's best (IMHO) instro composition drives with a clean stripped down feel, major energy, nice subtleties, solid percussion, and a relentless and well phrased bass. Some of the variations on the arrangement and melody line are really cool. Among the best 50 covers... ok, there are a lot, but I love 'em all.