Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Nematoads - Spy Car Mechanicdotdotdotdotdot
artworkSpy Car Mechanic is a superb release! The Nematoads have really outdone themselves with this set. Exceptional arranging and playing, with many original ideas and plenty of genre bending and blending. It's surf with serious rock credentials, psychedelic edges, and drama... lots of drama. I love this disc!
Picks: Rex Dart:Eskimo Spy, Johnny Turbo:Spy Car Mechanic, Squid Racer, Miranda, The White Whale, Miserlou, Airstrip One, Theme From The Inscrutables, Jet Jaguar, Rawhide, No Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Surf!, Death Garage, Rancho Cucamonga

Track by Track Review


Rex Dart:Eskimo Spy dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

A bit of mystery runs through "Rex Dart:Eskimo Spy." It's an interesting song, with a double picked second guitar, spyish melody, espionage horn and key sounds, and quite a bit of cinematic drama. Pretty darn cool!

Johnny Turbo:Spy Car Mechanic dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Great tom tom action and grumbly bass provide a tribal backdrop for an exotic melody line. As the horns come in, "Johnny Turbo:Spy Car Mechanic" becomes quite dramatic. Great track!

Squid Racer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

carried forward from Ted's days with Squid Vicious, "Squid Racer" is reinvented and richly textured. There's lots going on here. A pair of guitars playing off each other, one of which plays some very demented slithery glissandos, a horn driving sideways through time, and tuff bass and drums. Superb!

Miranda dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Fog haunted ships call out in the night. "Miranda" is not a song, but it's compelling nonetheless.

The White Whale dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Gritty and aggro, "The White Whale" is all fuzz and textures. The horn and fuzz, and the drums and bass provide a fluid and heavy wash of adventure.

Miserlou dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

There are a billion versions of Nicolas Roubanis' classic melody, but none like this. A big dramatic intro yields to a roughly textured and brilliantly powerful tour through surfdom. While the main body of the arrangement is based around Dick Dale's 45 version, including the trumpet, this is nonetheless an original sound. Gritty and powerful, with some superb jammin' work in the middle. Amazing!

Airstrip One dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Wow, "Airstrip One" opens in a psychedelic wash of theremin and tremolo before launching into the big spy epic that follows.

Theme From The Inscrutables dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Theme From The Inscrutables" is a really fun track with a fine melody riff. Spies, exotic mystery, and plenty going on. The horn provides interesting accents, as does the theremin. Very cool!

Jet Jaguar dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Saucy mystery and a splendid guitar line, coupled with fifties runway sax and a great rhythm section make "Jet Jaguar" original and fun. Quite original.

Rawhide dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Link Wray's "Rawhide" is spunked out with extreme energy and big fuzz, which is augmented uniquely by the horn. This is all tuff, and certainly would have been appreciated by the man himself.

No Mr. Bond, I Expect You To Surf! dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This splendid song is nicely arranged and compelling. Fun fills and augmentations add to the rich twang.

Death Garage dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Big heavy sustained garage fuzz accompanied by chop chord guitar and trumpet play in near psychedelic form over a dark surf beat. "Death Garage's" blend of genres is original and compelling. Very nice, and BIG. If James Bond played The Fillmore, he just might have done this to an unsuspecting audience. Blow or meld your mind with this - it's your choice!

Rancho Cucamonga dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is just superb! "Rancho Cucamonga" is an aggressive and edgy instro with great energy and a solid drive. The melody riff is very surfable, and the drums and bass wonderfully powerful. It's a vibrant track.