Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The OK Kings - It's OKdotdotdotdotdot
artworkWow... it's been ages waiting for this release. Great playing and writing, solid arranging, and lots to like - surf wise. It's OK is just plain good!
Picks: The Bay Of Chicks, Quasimoto, Pinball, Mosquito, Big Wail, The Fraud, Argentina, One Note Man, Tsunami '95, The Guts, Ballroom Beach, Tumari, Washout, Waikiki Curl, It's OK

Track by Track Review


The Bay Of Chicks dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A ringing guitar issues an intense pattern, and then a gritty glissando ushers in an additive fuzz, bass, and organ before the song evolves into a rock-solid wash of surf-n-roll. The melody line is loud and really cool.

Quasimoto dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Muted reverb coolness plays a delightfully fluid melody while muted rhythms undulate. There are places where the bass apes the guitar line, which normally is a no-no, but where that occurs here, the guitar deviates from the pattern, which allows the bass to make the led really stand out. Other times, the bass and both guitars are in sync for a highly rhythmic sound.

Pinball dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pinball" is loud and splashy. The rising organ in the break creates a surreal slide of energy upward. Dramatic and quite original.

Mosquito dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This has all the earmarks of SoCal surf in the modern era with great liquid reverb and a splashy infectious melody. Dribbling guitars, dripping springs, and strong visuals. "Mosquito" is optimistic and totally cool.

Big Wail dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy low-e thunder and relentless energy. I'm not sure I get the point of the "oo-oo" choruses, but they seem to suggest the pop vocal side of the beach, but almost as if they are thumbing their noses at it, 'cuz never did any of that genre play with such fire in their bones!

The Fraud dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big and spacious, "The Fraud" is visual the way spaghetti westerns can be, but it's all surf. Upbeat, sparkling, sweeping, and utterly pleasurable.

Argentina dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Argentina" is a slow romantic song with near military drums that illustrate the conflict between the sensuality of Argentina and its strong-arm government. I don't know if that was the intent, but it immediately came to mind as this superb song pour out of the speakers.

One Note Man dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rich spaghetti tremolo shimmer opens this drama-laden stomp. Its deliberate pace and loud tone command attention. "One Note Man" is almost entirely constructed from one note. It is - in a word - big. You won't be humming it, but you won't forget it either.

Tsunami '95 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Brittle guitar tone creates tension in this strong surf raver. The melody is unusual for surf, and it works quite well. Great drums!

The Guts dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rich and dark, muted danger, and ominous lines throughout. "The Guts" is perhaps as uncomfortable as its title. Occasional theremin, big twang, and strong drums.

Ballroom Beach dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Ballroom Beach" is almost delicate, with some lovely guitar lines painting a picture of an easy time. That's not o say that the song is light, because it is not. Excellent!

Tumari dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Long sustain whammy chords and surf sparkle over a very tasteful rhythm section. The fluid melody is captivating in the way some sixties Mediterranean themes were. "Tumari" is simply satisfying front to back!

Washout dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Writhing chop chords and reverb create a superbly infectious backing for a really fine melody. "Washout" is simply superb and original. The Bo Diddley beat doesn't hurt either, 'cuz he was where great rock guitar began.

Waikiki Curl dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fast spy thrasher with big twang and disturbed whammy. It's dissonant melody creates tension that permeates espionage sounds above a wonderful muted surf rhythm section.

It's OK dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rick, slowly sinking whammy chords, reverb, tremolo shimmer, and a sort of spaghetti visual feel. "It's OK" may move slowly, but there's no shortage of drama and power. very cool!