Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Nematoads - Five Guns Westdotdotdotdotdot
artworkHoly cow! This is a magnificent album, full of exceptional music. Great writing, huge drama, and wonderful arranging. The songs are picturesque, and it's all about spaghetti westerns. Imaginative and well developed, and very hard to put down. My only gripe if the almost ambient sound t the drums at times.
Picks: Deadwood, Border Run, Harlingen Shuffle Part 1, Urban Sombrero, Five Guns West, Entrada Del Oeste, Laredo By Sundown, Bandera!, Havana Gila, Dos Diablos, Matagorda Bay, Devil Ridge, Distant Drums, Cuero Gold, Capoburro

Track by Track Review

Deadwood dotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Lovely whammy gives "Deadwood" a spaghetti western flavor, while the balance of the song depends of rock and surf for inspiration. This is dramatic and visual, and the horn enhances the western theme appeal.

Border Run dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cowboys on surfboards with big tremolo shimmer on three guitars. The structure is very good, resulting in a very cool arrangement. Great for driving down that coastal highway in the rain.

Harlingen Shuffle Part 1 dotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very brief interlude between scenes.

Urban Sombrero dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Big twang and tremolo charm create a sultry edge for "Urban Sombrero" to ride on. The almost subliminal moody bass is very important here, as are the rhythm guitar and drums. This is a twanger with appeal.

Five Guns West dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Haunted guitars and stereo throbbing with an image of great dry expanses and cabaleros. This very spacious track is quite effective at painting its picture, and its gentle flow just adds mystery and confidence. I like this a lot. "Five Guns West" washes you in throbbing echoes, which create a sense of expansive range land. The melody is cool and the mix strongly suggests a dreamscape adventure.

Entrada Del Oeste dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate acoustic guitars generate a sensual image of a Mexican village before the big guitars ride into town. Great drums, and a superb borrowing of "Malaguena" combine to make this minute and a half epic well worth the excursion.

Laredo By Sundown dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Big drama is created by the guitar and the drums, and cool trumpet brings home the spaghetti. This is a superb song with many changes and great imagery. I was thinking this could be a great soundtrack score, but then I realized it tells a whole story, not just a part. Wonderful.

Bandera! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Perhaps the most surf of the three tracks, "Bandera!" has a surf feel from the tone, and the added organ brings on a slight Jim Waller reference. Tuff glissandos and distant trumpet, plus cries of "bandera!" A fine track!

Havana Gila dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very cool track. "Havana Gila" sports an engaging melody line that's a hunting and shimmering with tremolo. Howling feedback adds danger and nervousness. Moderately paced, it travels across a desert expanse where few return. This is really superb!

Dos Diablos dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

"Dos Diablos" has an exotic, semitropical melody and beat, but is squarely colored by the spaghetti western ethic. Great drums and plenty of energy, along with the western trumpet, make this a spectacular instro. The lead guitar is often playing in surf mode, double picking and riding high. Exceptionally strong.

Matagorda Bay dotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

"Matagorda Bay" romps right along with strong energy. It's melody is good, but much less spaghetti than the rest here. The horns add the western edge.

Devil Ridge dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Richly desert oriented, "Devil Ridge" portrays the craggy scene with a bit of meanness and adventure. The drums deliver a sort of military adventure as well.

Distant Drums dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Indian drums pound menacingly as the guitar delivers a relentless sequence that transitions into a fuzz line. The second guitar counterpoints with double picked charm. "Distant Drums" is a monster of drama and sensual energy. Wow!

Cuero Gold dotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

An acoustic guitar calls with a mournful line. Think of this as a transitional interlude.

Capoburro dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A groovy guitar line with a touch of the Middle East and dark desert surf gives "Capoburro" a unique sound. It's a catchy number in a sophisticated way. Howling and rotating, it is big and very cool!