Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Phantom Frank - Dead Man Surfin'dotdotdotdot
artworkPhantom Frank (Frank Gerritsen of the Treble Spankers and Phantom Four) put together these home-produced tracks of mostly Hawaiian exotica recently. Much of it is very good just as it is, and with a full band, well, it would be amazing! Vocals on this disc include the haunting "Paradishee" and compelling "Darshan."
Picks: Cobra's Fang, Dead Man Surfin', The Lost Surfer, Condition Black, Shockwave, Dusseldorf HBF, Kapuna, New Wave, Fata Morgana, Kai Wahine, Vox Continental, Eau Noire, Punjabi

Track by Track Review


Cobra's Fang dotdotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

What a great track. Like a combination of the Mutants and the Treble Spankers, with Hawaiian guitar playing Middle Eastern riffs against wah wah chops. A stunningly cool combination!

Dead Man Surfin' dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

"Dead Man Surfin'" is loaded with surfisms and spooky drama. Muted second guitar, twangin' lead, and a throbbing and moody rhythm. Screams add to the title theme. Great track!

The Lost Surfer dotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

A Beefheart-ish ("Big Eyed Beans From Venus") beginning created by guitar, and then a moody island melody that's both Hawaiian and surf. Adventures in the tropics inverted!

Condition Black dotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

Mysterious and sultry chords, vibes, and drums dramatically run beneath Hawaiian guitar. This slow and sinewy number is very visual, and very emotional. "Condition Black" is quit beautiful.

Shockwave dotdotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

An exotica sound wraps around "Shockwave." Island mysterious and lounge exotic, with a warm holiday in Polynesia sound. This is not the Zorba and the Greeks' song.

Dusseldorf HBF dotdotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

An infectious rhythm sets up an expectation of lyrics, but they do not appear. The galloping rhythm that develops supports an adventurous lap steel melody that's lurid and playful. Quite fun.

Kapuna dotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

The exotic drum machine and wispy island chorus call to a breeze from off shore. The acoustic melody plays gently against lap steel and moody bass. Compellingly smooth. There are a few spoken lines filtered through a didgeridoo processor.

New Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

"New Wave" is a very surfable lap steel piece, perhaps somewhere between the Impacts and modern danger. It's a very cool song. Real drums would really make this rock!

Fata Morgana dotdotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

Long sustain and chords, haunting lap steel, and then a fanciful rhythm section invites the elegant melody of "Fata Morgana." This is a very nice track, with a wonderful melody and very effective arranging.

Kai Wahine dotdotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

Slow vibrato and island chords, lap steel and string-sliding drama, all slowly oozing from a moody and engaging song. "Kai Wahine" is very cool!

Vox Continental dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

"Vox Continental" is a very fine track with deluxe rhythm and slowly building energy. The organ adds a sense of garage, while the duel guitars engage with danger and nervous energy. I like this a lot.

Eau Noire dotdotdot
Surf Exotica (Instrumental)

"Eau Noire" is dark and moody, with a desolate and uneasy sound. Silky, yet not quite right in the head. Spooky!

Punjabi dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Punjabi" is a spectacular surf instrumental, much in the Treble Spankers' tradition. With the title chanted, it takes on a tribal and dangerous edge. Dark and engaging. Long fuzz sustain and big surf guitar layered via reverb and thick production.