Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
North Of Malibu - Message From Protondotdotdot
artworkThis set from North Of Malibu shows maturing writing and playing, and captures the color of the band quite well. 8 studio tracks are augmented by 2 ambiently recorded live ones.
Picks: Kenpo, Barcelona Blue, Message From Proton, Backwash, Walk Don't Run, Out Of Limits, The Creature, Crashing Waves, Raw-Hide, Pipeline

Track by Track Review


Kenpo dotdotdotdot
(Instrumental)

"Kenpo" is a dark progression surf instro with a rhythmic pulse. Imagine an instro somewhere between the early days of the genre via Dick Dale's Deltone singles and the melody line from Pink Floyd's "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun," and you might get the feeling here. Quite a nice track.

Barcelona Blue dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

As you might expect from the title, the melody and structure of "Barcelona Blue" suggest Spanish traditional forms dripped in reverb. Drama and delicate melody lines coupled with reverb make it a fine track.

Message From Proton dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

This is a very traditional sounding surf instro. The vintage '62 melody and structure harken back to those heady days when the genre was in its infancy. The guitarists namesake song is much about reverb chord power, with a melody line that's old school progression. Some nice arranging. Very cool!

Backwash dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

"Backwash" is heavily inspired by the Strangers' "Caterpillar Crawl," but just different enough not to be a cover. It has the same bass line and pacing, and a very similar mood and melody line.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

Johnny Smith's lone impact on rock'n'roll is done with lots of reverb, but in the arrangement of the Ventures' 1960 single. Nicely covered with reverence and style.

Out Of Limits
(Instrumental)

Mike Gordon's most familiar instro is a pretty straight cover of the Mar-Kets' single, but a bit slower and moodier, and with lots more reverb. The dribbling double picked middle section is quite nice.

The Creature dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

"The Creature" is a bit of a circular tune with an ominous sound. Quite simple, yet dangerously compelling. This slow song is tuff and moody.

Crashing Waves dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dramatic guitar lines open "Crashing Waves" with a promise of Spanish imagery and emotion. What follows is more chord-driven than surf usually is and more death on the waves than the Spanish surf genre generally implies. With the kind of flow and drama only surf instrumentals can muster, this song portrays a turbulent watery scene, much as Crystal Forest's "The Reticent Wave," less the rhythmic domination of that song. Picturesque, moody, and very coastal.

Raw-Hide dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

This murky live take on Link Wray and his Raymen's "Raw-Hide" is raucous and rockin', wit intensity and volume. Quite raw.

Pipeline dotdotdot
(Instrumental)

A rapid glissando launches this ambient live take of Brian Carmen and Bob Spickard's surf epic. Loud and powerful, and well reverbed.