Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Chris Neal - The Protocolsdotdotdot
artworkFrom the grave of the Mill Valley Taters comes the mind and dementia of Chris Neal. It's a strange and twisted journey through the cocktail lounge of escape.

Chris Neal says it best: "I was inspired by my readings of certain biographies about Elvis. More specifically, 75-76... Those Years!!!

It's all instrumental. I like to think this is what it all sounded like in the King's head.

All songs are untitled, but since the CD is titled The Protocols 1-6, perhaps they are so named.

These are not at all your surf classics. Only for the adventurous.
Picks: Protocol 1, Protocol 2, Protocol 3, Protocol 4, Protocol 5, Protocol 6

Track by Track Review


Protocol 1 dotdotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Spanish Dick Dale runs, a splashy melody, and some heavy double picking - perhaps the harshest track here. Energy and power, with a fine melody. "The Bandito" borders on spectacular.

Protocol 2 dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

This slow moving surf dirge verges on depressing through long slow stereo notes in the intro. The song itself is more Spanish and almost bouncy. A great beat and rhythm runs under a moody and moving melody.

Protocol 3 dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

"The Devil's Martini" has a great rhythm and melody. It's delicate and pretty, yet powerful. Spanish influences, reverb, double picking, splash chords, and moody tone.

Protocol 4 dotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Ringing chords open the surf sludge horror of "Zombie Stomp." Dark, spooky, and weirded out by Theremin. It's funny how this is able to just stay this side of the gimmicky line. Grinning and shuddering at the same time.

Protocol 5 dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

Right from the evil opening laugh, you know "Surfin' With Satan" will be cool. It moves at a moderate pace with a slowly double picked lead playing a fine surf melody. Accompanied by a distant chorus, it has a slightly desolate edge, while otherwise portraying the sea settling down after a major storm. Very cool!

Protocol 6 dotdotdotdot
Horror Surf (Instrumental)

At seeing the title, I had visions of the Aquamen's "Ride A Pale Horse" set to reverb. It was not to be. It was not to be. "Pale Rider" is a slow sludgy surf dirge, a morose death march with reverb. The down nature of the song is an inversion of what surf usually is, yet it is quite compelling. Chilling vibrato, distant chorus, and that ultra slow pace stretched out for 5-1/2 minutes. It ends up being a perfect funeral march for a fallen rider.