Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Orgaphonics - Sunset Riderdotdotdot
artworkThe Orgaphonics write instrumentals in a few styles. Some are like frat rock, but with surf guitars and organ. Others are moody surf. There's lots of energy and bounce here at times, but the sound of the CD is very inconsistent, ranging from muddy mono to strange use of stereo. Some tracks work really well, others are hidden by bad recording and production.
Picks: First Place Knockout, Lonestar, Sunset Rider, Trafficantes, Hot Rod, El Toro, Astro, Downfeel, Swami's Reef, Sad Survivor, Harmonizer, Malaguena, Roll Over Mozart, 5 A.M.

Track by Track Review

First Place Knockout dotdot
Frat Rock With Reverb (Instrumental)

"First Place Knockout" uses a circulating riff and beak that's more rock instro than surf in structure, but is reverbed and double picked in the break. Great rolling drums and power.

Lonestar dotdot
Frat Rock With Reverb (Instrumental)

Structurally, "Lonestar" is a frat rock instro with lots of energy and a jumpin' beat. The melody is not memorable.

Sunset Rider dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a lush and softly flowing instrumental with an island sound and feel. The melody is quite good, and the imagery very effective. "Sunset Rider" makes a great backdrop to your Hawaiian vacation videos.

Trafficantes dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spanish guitar drama, frat rock sound, and a moody feeling permeate "Trafficantes." There's drama and great emotional content that overcomes the muddy mono sound. A solid song that deserves a much better recording.

Hot Rod dotdotdot
Frat Rock With Reverb (Instrumental)

Wailing hot rods and dry muted double picked guitar over a jumpin' murky backtrack. Straddling surf and frat.

El Toro dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surfmen's "El Toro" is nicely done, with relative reverence and similar mood. It's on the murky side, but still is quite enjoyable. At times, it's more island-like than the original, and at others, more dribbly. Oh for a better recording.

Astro dotdot
Frat Rock With Reverb (Instrumental)

"Astro" is a surfy frat rocker with a bit of space and spy. More than frat rock usually, but it did not warrant a second listen.

Downfeel dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This moody surf instro is ominous in a haunted sort of way, with a great backtrack and minimal melody. "Downfeel" is well developed and solid. Its spookiness and sullen vision are very effective.

Swami's Reef dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Surf Raiders' "Swami's Reef" is nicely covered, though in murky mono. Loyd Davis' melody retains life after 20+ years. The performance is good, but the recording really needs to be done over.

Sad Survivor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I think "Sad Survivor" may be the best track here. While in mono and not very crisp sounding, the backtrack is infectious and the guitar lines quite engaging. It's soft and moody and rhythmic.

Harmonizer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Harmonizer" howls with the wind as it opens. The melody is Middle Eastern, the rhythm track effective, and the mood on the dangerous side. The production is weak, but the track still works.

Malaguena dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Orgaphonics are using the Trashmen's arrangement. The murkiness of the sound leaves it much less spirited than the Trashmen's take, though it's enjoyable. Odd production and very distant drums don't help.

Roll Over Mozart dot
Frat Rock With Reverb (Instrumental)

Choked guitar lines and flailing fingers. "Roll Over Mozart" is frat rock right down the line. There's no danger of Mozart being bothered.

5 A.M. dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

"5 A.M." presents a murky swirling disturbed sci-fi soundscape for the wee hours just before dawn. As odd as some of the guitar effects are, it works quite well.