Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Plank - Sounds Of Manahoadotdotdot
artworkThis is the new release from Seattle's Plank. There are more different tracks than were included on their Hula Love release. More surfisms are blended into the heavy sound, and more creativity is evident. Tracks are more progression oriented than melodic, but within the sound envelope, that works really well, similar to how it works for Link Wray. There are two vocals on the CD, "Watery Grave," which opens from a fade in of a long-sustained guitar feedback howling sounding whales in distress, underpin with a lumbering power surge, and lead with strong lyrical content, and "This Pot Sucks." This is pretty unusual instro CD, and as such, a recommended diversion into newer surf territory.
Picks: CoCo a Go Go, Maharaja, Sex Wax, Spy v. Spy, Kiss The Reef, Rapu Nui, Dust Devil, Cadillacin', Bone Yard, Cyber Surf, South Sea Island

Track by Track Review

CoCo a Go Go dotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

Employing postmodern surf tones, and a traditionally based melody line, this is a more surf oriented track. It is a little repetitious, but is well played, chunky, full, and solid. I'd have liked to see more variation in presentation, maybe tone shifts or octave changes verse to verse, just to enhance a solid foundation. A nice track.

Maharaja dotdotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

Whoa, cool warbly tremolo effects... Major chunk and harmonics, combined with trailing warbles on the decay side of the melody lines create an unusual and interesting track. It sports a huge sound, and a definitive power. Memorable, enjoyable, nontraditional, and spif!

Sex Wax dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a chunk version of Johnny Kool and the Rattlesnakes. This tune grinds along without much melody, but the energy seems to carry it off anyway. The guitar is totally compressed and chunky.

Spy v. Spy dotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

This track was inspired by Mad TV. It issues forth a recognizable espionage sound underlying a lumbering deliberate chunk, and supporting a prog-jam-jazz break. Heavy duty imposing instro power.

Kiss The Reef dotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

A solid drum intro, a surfy theme, a progression inspired by vintage instros, and a solid thick round guitar edge, all come together here to produce an ominous and swank slither of a surf instro.

Rapu Nui dotdotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

A semi-traditional slow dance beat supports a ringing set of jazzy chords and progression with a soulful island kinda feel. A cool and different track. Among the more interesting here.

Dust Devil dotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

Spunky grungy backtrack under a postmodern surf line, a fluid progression, and ample Plank edge. A nice track.

Cadillacin' dotdotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

Dark, heavy, metal based guitarage, thunky chunky, progression oriented power chord instro. Like Geronimo Black conspiring with Link Wray over a Cadillac. Inserted exclamations of "El Dorado" complete the track. Relentless, and brooding.

Bone Yard dotdotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

Super compressed guitar chunk, sustained to the max, flowingly played. The progression is right out of early eighties surf punk in style, and has that Agent Orange kinda structure, but with a different attack. Cool track.

Cyber Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big long stretched note fuzz and chunk guitar, Davie Allanesq surfisms in lower octaves. A powerful track loaded with glissandoes appropriately place.

South Sea Island dotdotdotdot
Power Surf (Instrumental)

Evil dark big guitar tones, like a low-E metal band gone mad while using an exotica drum & bass line pumped to the highly compressed percussive max. A larger than life trip into the darker side of surf n' grunge. Cool glissandoes, Link Wray like progressions, and exclaimed madness. Nothing like the title suggests. No palm trees, no warm, breezes. This is evil storm surf closing out overhead, threatening life itself.