Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
New World Relampagos - S/Tdotdotdotdotdot
artworkIn the New World and the Orient, the Ventures reigned over the instro world. In England and much of Europe, it was the Shadows. In Spain, only one band ruled the sixties instro scene... Los Relampagos (the Lightnings). After decades of obscurity, a new appreciation has risen among the surf community. Sirena Music and some of today's most widely respected instrumentalists have conspired to rerecord a slab of Los Relampagos faves. They were very fortunate to also have in their midst original keyboardist Pablo Herrero and guitarist Jose Luis Armenteros. This work is truly a labor of love, recorded in crystalline sound by outstanding musicians. Often soft and stunningly beautiful, this CD ranks as one of the most listenable in recent memory.

New World Relampagos are Ivan Pongracic (Space Cossacks) - lead guitar, Mark Huber (Sirena Music) - rhythm guitar, Pablo Herrero (Los Relampagos) - keyboards, Sam Bolle (Agent Orange) - bass, Dusty Watson (Slacktone, Dick Dale) - drums, and Luther Gray - percussion, except where noted.
Picks: Himno A Valencia, Vacaciones En Espana, Cancion De Vagabundo De, Numancia, Macarena, Cuando Cesa La Lluvia, El Tren De Las Tres Y Diez, Bailarina En Espana, Cancion Espanola De El Nino Judio, Rio Perdido, Aster Nova, Sevilla, Arenas Movedizas, Nocturno, Relampagos, Estapas, El Arlequin Del Toledo

Track by Track Review

Himno A Valencia dotdotdotdot
Spanish Rock (Instrumental)

A beautiful slow, almost processional introduction belies the sparkling and fast paced power twang that is "Himno A Valencia." Just as you'd expect from the players, the shiny guitar and powerhouse drums and bass fully charge this fine tune. Adventurous and unassuming, it rolls and glides with an endless optimism.

Vacaciones En Espana dotdotdot
Spanish Organ Rock (Instrumental)

A great rapid fire rhythm section suavely drives this slightly (London) Tornadoes sounding track. Very cool, rhythmic, infectious, and happy. Cranston Clements plays rhythm guitar.

Jose Luis Armenteros (Los Relampagos) plays second lead guitar.

Cancion De Vagabundo De dotdotdotdot
Spanish Organ Rock (Instrumental)

The damped guitar plucking on this track makes the organ shine... infectious and quite pretty, this MOR-ish track promises a leisurely afternoon. The fine melody and beautiful tone reflect a time gone by. Amazing.

Numancia dotdotdotdot
Spanish Organ Rock (Instrumental)

A little on the pompous side, this processional in military time is both magical and interesting. The organ break is smooth, but it's the drama of the drums that hold this high on the list. Excellent.

Nic Farkas plays additional keyboards.

Macarena dotdotdotdot
Spanish Rock (Instrumental)

A dry and crunchy damped rhythm guitar plays well against the pristine lead. The Spanish melody and toreador scenery are stunning. This is both romantically emotional and nearly liquid, while retaining quite a crispy feel.

Jose Luis Armenteros (Los Relampagos) plays second lead guitar.

Cuando Cesa La Lluvia dotdotdotdot
Spanish Rock (Instrumental)

This slow and silky piece sports a lap steel sound in a nearly green fried tomatoes scene where the breezes blow warm and tropical and the pheromones gush unabated. Very pretty indeed.

Cranston Clements plays lead guitar. Ron Eglit (Dick Dale, Dead Men Don't Surf) plays bass and lap steel.

El Tren De Las Tres Y Diez dotdotdotdot
Spanish Rock (Instrumental)

A military beat supports a solid Euro guitar pouring out a beautiful and emotional melody. "El Tren De Las Tres Y Diez" is magnetic and stunningly pretty.

Mike Bucalo plays trumpet. Red Devecca plays bass.

Bailarina En Espana dotdotdotdotdot
Spanish Rock (Instrumental)

Right from the Victorian harpsichord, "Bailarina En Espana" is simply grand. Without airs, it portrays an elegant period now only a faded memory. Stunningly beautiful, with sparkling guitar and a near minuet style.

Jim Hammond plays harpsichord.

Cancion Espanola De El Nino Judio dotdotdotdot
Spanish Rock (Instrumental)

With gypsy influences and a sunny abandon, "Cancion Espanola De El Nino Judio" almost fluffy tune dances ever so lightly on a playground of innocence. Quite infectious.

Rio Perdido dotdotdotdot
Spanish Rock (Instrumental)

"Rio Perdido" shows a warm, almost swimming side of the band, with a spunky rhythm section and playful lead melody. Cool... animated... joyous.

Aster Nova dotdotdot
Spanish Rock (Instrumental)

Veering decidedly into MOR territory, "Aster Nova" paints pictures of a South Pacific scene and a distance between the pineapple breeze and family back in Indiana. Smooth and lush.

Cranston Clements plays lead guitar.Ron Eglit (Dick Dale, Dead Men Don't Surf) plays bass and lap steel. Nic Farkas plays additional keyboards.

Sevilla dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

Spanish themes with swishy organ and playful emotional guitar. This is restrained, yet dramatic and rhythmic. Even a taste of the midway doesn't spoil the black laced view.

Arenas Movedizas dotdotdotdotdot
Surfish Surf (Instrumental)

Wow! This is a magnificent track! "Arenas Movedizas" vibrates and splashes, cuts back and shoots the curl again. This song sports a great melody, precise playing, and a hard driving rhythm. The drums... The bass... The surf guitar... damn fine track.

Nocturno dotdotdot
Surfish MOR (Instrumental)

Sultry slow mood music... yes, romantic and polished, dripping moonbeams and parfaits. You are for her eyes only as you stroll intertwined along the boulevard.

Relampagos dotdotdot
Surfish Organic (Instrumental)

A slow intro, but then an Agent Orange pace and a solid beat support a frenzied organ pumping out a fine sixties melody. Infectious and powerful.

Cranston Clements plays rhythm guitar. Nic Farkas plays additional keyboards.

Estapas dotdotdot
Surfish MOR (Instrumental)

"Estapas" is just plain pretty. The wistful melody is played with extreme delicacy and placed in a haunting fashion atop the light rhythm track. very pretty and moody.

Cranston Clements plays intro and outro lead. Jose Luis Armenteros (Los Relampagos) plays rhythm guitar.

El Arlequin Del Toledo dotdotdotdotdot
Surfish Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very spirited guitar instro with a fine rhythm and driving power. Totally infectious, utterly fun, and so perfectly played. Fiery and magnetic, "El Arlequin Del Toledo" is going to capture you.

Mike Bucalo plays trumpet. Mark English plays rhythm guitar.