Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Palermo Surf Experience - Il Campari Fataldotdotdot
artworkThe Palermo Surf Experience play with extreme volume and energy, while not racing along. The upside are 10 mostly very good songs delivered with excellent guitar and drums. the downside is inconsistent mixing, lead guitar often too low in the mix, and drums often to prominent. While this serves the intensity, it subdues the melodies and sense of ensemble that's clearly in the performance. My guess is that this is an excellent band that would wear you out live, and one that will deliver killer recordings once the formula is found. I really like this disc, aside from the production values.
Picks: C.I.A., The Man With The Stolen Gun, Charlie Don't Surf, Press Play On Tape, Sir Frog, Special Agent Karlson, Broken Elvis, Palermo Turns To Mekka, Pamela The Camela, The Last Tequila

Track by Track Review


C.I.A. dotdotdotdot
Spy Surf (Instrumental)

Crisp guitar plays an ominous riff that surely is all about spying. Danger and surf and drama collide as The Palermo Surf Experience drive this espionage adventure home.

The Man With The Stolen Gun dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked guitar, intense sound, threatening minimalism, and air raid siren danger. "The Man With The Stolen Gun" is an in your face splash of serious risk.

Charlie Don't Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rising from a hypnotic pattern, "Charlie Don't Surf" becomes a dark and dangerous onslaught of intensity. It's peppered with samples from Apocalypse Now. This is not the Clash's song.

Press Play On Tape dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Muted reverb guitars in sync with a slow and hard-struck beat makes this seem metronomic and maybe even militaristic. The melody line is dark, and the guitars play off each other in very complimentary ways. "Press Play On Tape" is an intense experience.

Sir Frog dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big reverb chords splash an intro to "Sir Frog," supported by very strong drums. Great guitar and power. The drums are too out front.

Special Agent Karlson dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In danger of being discovered, "Special Agent Karlson" moves in alleys after dark. The organ whirls and the rhythm circles. This is very much about the sound and fury, as opposed to the melody. It's quite intense.

Broken Elvis dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo chords throb, lead lines menace in a dank quiet. The drums come on with superb timing. "Broken Elvis" is a moderately paced number that's haunting and down right scary. It's a heavy song with more danger than anything else. The lead is buried in the mix, with adds to the mystery, but doesn't enhance the experience.

Palermo Turns To Mekka dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As you might guess, there's a Middle Eastern underbelly hear. "Palermo Turns To Mekka" is mysterious, but the lead is too low to be really effective. More potential than delivery.

Pamela The Camela dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pamela The Camela" seems all about being loud. The melody is a simple but effective riff, and the energy is intense. Swirling around the organ, the song moves rapidly.

The Last Tequila dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fuzzy tremolo guitar tells of inebriation at 100 km/h. Big energy, spy theme sound, and relentless volume. Very intense.