Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Pocos Locos - Los Pocos Locosdotdotdot
artworkThis is one of those releases that seems to be transitional. There are some really well written pieces of music, and the musicianship is strong, as is the arranging. The recording, and particularly the mix and mastering are not complimentary to the music. Musically very engaging, even artful. Aurally too compressed and sometimes annoying. My guess is that Los Pocos Locos would be great live - they just need to learn how to record. Go see them play and judge for yourself.
Picks: Riptide, Nite Rider, Spy vs. Spy, Mexicali, Crystal Ship, Lazy Claim Agent, Luca Brasi, Spanish Surf, Paint It Black, Surf Shop

Track by Track Review

Riptide dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

An infectious rhythm track backs double picked modern guitar tone before soaring lines take hold. Part surf, part rock instro, "Riptide" is an aggressive track with punch and thump.

Nite Rider dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Nite Rider" is a dark, lumbering, metallic instro. Soaring guitars, long sustain, kick drum thump, and a relentless march toward the grave.

Spy vs. Spy dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Danger is implied by the sharp-edged compressed guitar lines. Dark and heavy, "Spy vs. Spy" is an engaging number in a rock groove. Kind of punk metal.

Mexicali dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Mexicali" has a lumpy and moody backtrack. The Spanish influences in the melody paint a picture of a quiet village. It's a bit too compressed, but very enjoyable nonetheless.

Crystal Ship dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Doors' "Crystal Ship" is the subject of this lumbering instro. Much darker aurally than the original, with grumbly tone and a heavy thunder tone. Nicely done.

2 Ft. Overhead dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dark and heavy double picked guitar and thunder bass layered in metal monster format. Its relentless progression towards doom is occasionally interrupted by panning glissandos.

Amadeus dot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Amadeus" moves slowly through a classical sounding sequence until the over-boom thunder arrives and the pace picks up. The audio is ugly - not in a compelling way, but way too boomy and compressed.

Lazy Claim Agent dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Gently flowing on a loud river raft, "Lazy Claim Agent" is a really interesting track. The sound is over compressed, but the song is very cool, with jazzy edges and a sunny disposition. I really like the composition and general arrangement.

Agent #9 dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Agent #9" has a good melody, and the arrangement works well. There are some very good ideas here. Listening to the compressor breathing from extreme squish mode is really annoying.

Luca Brasi dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A ska-like foundation and rock guitar tone, along with some compressed distortion double picking create an adventurous experience. The change mid stream takes "Luca Brasi" into a blue reggae place for a while. Pretty fun.

Spanish Surf dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Spanish guitar drama suggests a deserted beach, but then the big rock sound and compression kick in to bring it home. Punkoidal at times, "Spanish Surf" sports a cool melody and very good arranging.

Paint It Black dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" has been done by instro bands a number of times. I can't say I've heard a darker, more tortured rendering. Heavy pulsing punk chords, a bass solo, and big squish sound.

Hang Loose dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big rock sound, like some mid seventies German bands. Bass glissandos, big thunder, and darkness everywhere.

Ride The Lightning dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Ride The Lightning" has some really engaging moments, a couple of frantic glissandos, and a metal sound. The writing is interesting, and the flash commanding.

Surf Shop dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Totally goofy, with weird, fussy notes and tone. "Surf Shop" is a playful and number that's just this side of silly. You might not want to like it, but a grim will emerge anyway. Drum machine and guitars.