Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Plungers - The Band That Time Forgotdotdotdotdotdot
artworkWell, you're just not going to be let down here! The third album from the Plungers is a magnificent merger of surf and desert and exotica. These tracks seem like they simply must end up on a soundtrack. As a reference point, if you like the Reventlos as I do, then you're going to completely thrilled with The Band That Time Forgot. They aren't a copy or anything like that, but their knack for superb juxtapositions and their sense of ensemble are simply superb.
Picks: Voyager, Missile Toe, Teenage Heart, Heavy Duty Plunger, Friendly Persuasion, Giant, The Simple Life, Kong, El Infidel, Surfwalk, Faster, Plungers! Surf! Surf!, Marauder, Trip Master, Sidewinder, One Million Years B.S., The Kind Fugitive, Plungin' Ahead, Springfield, And God Created The Astronauts, The Inner Tube, Still Surfing, The Sweet Ride, Catalina, The Cool Ride, Missing Link

Track by Track Review


Voyager dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Cycling glissandos and riffs from Pink Floyd's "Interstellar Overdrive" launch this intriguing instro. There are surfisms in country air on a summer's day, as if they're just out for a carefree afternoon drive along the Gulf Coast. "Voyager" is a very fine track that's layered with many flavors.

Missile Toe dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Dark and a bit heavy at times, with very tasty glissandos, "Missile Toe" is a well developed track that is somewhat suggestive of the Reventlos. The varied textures combine most effectively to create a warm experience. Quite nice.

Teenage Heart dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Bongos and dribbling glissandos, and a set of interesting tones deliver a fuzzed melody that's smooth and summery. The light hearted nature of the melody makes it clear why the title. This is a friendly track that flows like a journey through the neighborhoods of your youth as seen from decades beyond.

Heavy Duty Plunger dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

There's no reason to worry about being plugged up when you've got a "Heavy Duty Plunger" to help you out. Some thunder, some country whine, and some fluid melody lines. Indians and surfboards and desert scenes.

Friendly Persuasion dotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Dimitri Tiomkine's romantic score "Friendly Persuasion" is a softly floating and romantic song. Transmuted into a desert surf interpretation, it projects a warm and lush vision. Very pretty.

Giant dotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

"Giant" sports a filmic feeling, as if intended for a soundtrack. The imagery is of a broad expanse and an old convertible carrying its passengers through an orange sunset towards a new dawn. Optimism abounds, as do long sweeping panoramas.

The Simple Life dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

One must ask, is this dedicated to the two boneheads that pollute the lowest common denominator also known as E!? The answer may be yes, may be no. It matters not, for "The Simple Life" is a really nice piece with long laps steel guitar lines and sweeping panoramic images. Totally cool!

Kong dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Bongos and tribal thunder call the great ape to carry off Fay Raye. between the sound and writing and arrangement, it's easy to understand why it's titled "Kong!" Dramatic and yet positive.

El Infidel dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

The Middle East, cactus prairies, and playful surfisms intermingle for a splendid sound. The glissandos keep the surf in view. The melody is superb!

Surfwalk dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Easy exotic drums and a loungy chorus back up a floating and beautiful melody. "Surfwalk" is an easy island lagoon of sun and gentle curl. Thoroughly gorgeous!

Faster, Plungers! Surf! Surf! dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

This is a really dramatic and intense track, with relentless guitars and an attractive sound. "Faster, Plungers! Surf! Surf!" is both sophisticated and primal, and it sports a genuine sense of open space. Great title!

Marauder dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

"Marauder" employs a circular melody line and sort of syncopated rhythm track. As it evolves, the gigantic fuzz ensues, giving it a dirty and edgy sound.

Trip Master dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

A bit of sitar treatment and surf all over the place, "Trip Master" is an adventure in a foreign land. Exotic, very fluid, and wide open. It grows as it evolves, until you have been thoroughly engrossed and satisfied. Very cool.

Sidewinder dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

"Sidewinder" is a delicate surf number with muted reverb and tribal thunder. It's also a cowboy hoe-down. Grins are required, but they are born of pleasure, not silliness. The fuzz adds a nasty edge as it peaks out from the depths.

One Million Years B.S. dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Lumbering and dangerous in a b-movie monster kind of way, this plunders the night from an outdoor screen. I suppose at some levels, the title is another way of saying "back in the day." However, there's not a lot about "One Million Years B.S." that's trad. I am again reminded of the sort of marvelous juxtaposition and evolving drama that the Reventlos are so adept at. Excellent!

The Kind Fugitive dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Stopping on his way to help little old ladies cross the street, "The Kind Fugitive" travels the open spaces on a galloping mare, dodging everyone that might recognize him. The juxtaposition of muted patterns and glissandos with open sustain and scenic passages is quite compelling.

Plungin' Ahead dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Great surf with spurs. Great open space rolls out in front of you as you indulge in the whimsy that is "Plungin' Ahead." Flighty and friendly, country and surf, and just plain cool.

Springfield dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Surf and sitar psych, almost backwards country, and an inviting wash of layered elements make "Springfield" really hard to ignore, and when you add the glissandos, well, you're stuck.

And God Created The Astronauts dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

In a serious nod to the Astronauts, The Plungers drive some great Lee Hazelwood tunes into a merged frenzy. "The Hearse," "El Aguila," and "Baja" are a natural combination that a number of bands have medleyed since the early eighties. This just may be the most original and coolest!

The Inner Tube dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and sultry notes that remind me of "Percolator" in some ways, plus sitar and soft psych delicately paint a flowing picture of a warm summer's evening at low tide. Very very nice!

Still Surfing dotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Totally original surf, with lots of not-usually-surf things going on. "Still Surfing" is refreshing and visual, with exotic bongos and sweeping panoramas.

The Sweet Ride dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Big drama, circular surf patterns, long cactus notes, and deluxe curl on the sands imagery simply ooze from every corner of "The Sweet Ride." Adventurous and easy going, this song carries you along on its ride even if you don't want to go. What a cool track!

Catalina dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Mid tempo cool, light hearted and bouncy, with a wonderful little melody line. Add lap steel to the reverbed guitars, and a country bass and drums, and you have a splendid crest ride on a wake in a great river on a hot summer afternoon. Wonderful!

The Cool Ride dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Exotic percussion, muted reverb, and a catchy riff merge the lounge and exotica and surf genres in a seamless mesh. Very cool indeed!

Missing Link dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Slowly rising from the darkness of a cave, "Missing Link" lumbers and plunders. It's heavy in a not overbearing way, with big drama and lovely backing.