Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Outsiders - Outsider On The Rundotdotdotdot
artworkSweden's Outsiders merge surf with cowboy in a Balboa / Austin way that creates really infectious rhythms and playful melodies that are warm and very memorable. This is a CD you'll come back to, with 15 instros that cross over between surf and C&W without leaving either behind or driving either fan base out. Very well played, finely written originals, well recorded and sequenced. Recommended.
Picks: Surf Detective, Chewing Gum, Memories From Ponderosa, Outsider On The Run, Wetlook, Snakeskin Shoes, Indian Summer, Flying Flamenco, Let's Do It Again, Whispering Whires, Bonebreaker, Tumbleweed, Balderdash, The Layabout, Untitled

Track by Track Review

Surf Detective dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Pure surf with a spy-detective rhythm and melody riff. Very nice writing, with a solid arrangement and rich tone. A little on the sad shadow lurking side, "Surf Detective" is a pleasure.

Chewing Gum dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

You'd think there would be more songs about something as common and as strange as chewing gum, but I can only think of two, Lonnie Donnegan's skiffle song "Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavor On The Bedpost Overnight?," and Amon Duul II's "Chewing Gum Telegraph." This is like neither. Big drums, delicate damped surf guitar, and a catchy lead riff in a two minute capsule. Entirely fun.

Memories From Ponderosa dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

This is not the theme to Bonanza, but does live a life of twang on a cowboy beat. Relentless ridin' fun cow-pokin' on a mechanical bull on a Saturday night. Pretty cool track!

Outsider On The Run dotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

The CD's title track is a fine number, with warm sustained chords and round lead notes portraying a simple rambling riff, accented with some tasty glissandoes.

Wetlook dotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

A bit of country twang and riffin' rhythm combine for a choppy stomp. A little too riff-rock oriented for my taste, though there are some nice damped moments.

Snakeskin Shoes dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Great rolling cowboy surf rhythms and a friendly melody line, with warm chords and an infectious beat. Cactus, burrows, dusty trails, cactus juice, and tails of lost gold. Lots of fun on this one.

Indian Summer dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Interesting rhythms, not really trad Indian style, with a warm rolling melody line and an adventurous gate. "Indian Summer" is infectious, with its catchy rhythm guitar and perfect meter. Verse to verse, the octave shifts to retain interest, and the drums point the way. Nice track!

Flying Flamenco dotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Here is a rhythmic track with hints of Mediterranean melodies and western rhythms, and a thick feel. Is it a bird? Is it a cotton candy balloon? No, it's a "Flying Flamenco."

Let's Do It Again dotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

The main riff is a little tweaky. The rhythm track is infectious. The action is jerky and dramatic. Unusual and interesting in an Austin kinda way.

Whispering Whires dotdotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Great cowboy rhythm and cool whammy chords, and a really nice western melody line punctuated with slithery glissandoes and a sense of the open range. This is easily one of the best cowboy surf tunes I've heard in ages, right up there with the Hellbenders.

Bonebreaker dotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Riff shore break cruncher, spinning into the brine like a floater in a whirl pool. Cute.

Tumbleweed dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

"Tumbleweed" is a fine cactus epic, with great vibrato chords and a warm outdoor riff over a surf beat for the plains. More than friendly, and with excellent delicate damped picking, this is one fine track.

Balderdash dotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Riff dominated twango, with warm chords and ringing tone. If it's a bald faced lie, it's "Balderdash."

The Layabout dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Lazy afternooners viewed from trotting horseback, with incredibly cool damped plucking and an infectious beat. Very cool, and too much fun, and it stays with you.

Untitled dotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

This crashing live sounding track comes after seven minutes of silence. It's an aggressive and spy-like thing unlike the rest of this disc, with theremin and crunch, and a thicker edgy sound.