Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Polaris! - S/Tdotdotdot
artworkVery clean playing with writing that suffers from too obvious homage to Laika & the Cosmonauts and Los Straitjackets, strained through European instro sensibilities. Some bright spots, some not. Nothing here really stands out, nor do any of the tracks suck. Just "C" grade instro fair.
Picks: Hypnovista, Spaciba, Da Svidania, Euro Star, Scene King, Strontium 90, Danger Girl, Doctor Electro, Brylcreem Pillow, Hibachi, Sequence Voiture, Strange Mary Jane, Big Boss A Go-Go, Crime Wave, Underwater Morphine, Polaris Shake, N'ecoute Pas Les Idoles, Psychotic Rocket, Pinball Loser

Track by Track Review


Hypnovista dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Shimmering Shadows-like pluckanova, moderately melodic, slightly loungie, and free of anything surf. The break is a spiffy percussive bit. Think low key Laika & the Cosmonauts, without the flair, but with more delicate playing.

Spaciba, Da Svidania dotdotdot
Euro-Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked low-E guitar, dry and unevenly metered and attacked. The sounds are very Laika & the Cosmonauts, and only slightly hinting of surf. This is a fun track, but quite a stretch for the surf crowd. Lots of energy and tongue-in-cheek flair.

Euro Star dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Living up to it's name, this is a progression designed around pedestrian Euro instro themes. The obvious roots provide a certain friendliness, but it is not enough to hold up to repeated plays. Nicely played, but unremarkable.

Scene King dotdotdot
Euro-Go-Go (Instrumental)

Go-Go themes, Euro influences, and some nice almost Challengers tones, along with some surf whammy. This is a pretty nice track, moderately paced, swimming in wet tone and gentle island breezes. I like this track the best among the lot.

Strontium 90 dotdotdot
Euro-Go-Go (Instrumental)

Euro guitar disco circa 1965, based on a progression. There's little melody, but a lot of energy and fun. Touches of studio surf sensibility allow it's inclusion in the surf scene.

Danger Girl dotdotdot
Euro-Go-Go (Instrumental)

Throbbing vibrato guitar, stinging tone, and a dangerous melody line give this whammy swirl a definite edge. Intense without being overwhelming.

Doctor Electro dotdotdot
Euro-Noodle (Instrumental)

A somewhat pompous Euro movie theme styled track, with no melody, just a progression carrying on until the break, where some noodling happens, but nothing of interest. I'll pass on this one.

Brylcreem Pillow dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The mere thought of a "Brylcreem Pillow" brings images of stiff hair stuck to the linen... argh! The track is a subtle whammied thing, with a low-E twang edging into island territory, surf enough to partake of the waves. Not very melodic, but still quite interesting.

Hibachi dotdotdot
Mediterranean Cowboy (Instrumental)

Expecting some real oriental cooking here, I was instead met by a shimmering slow twango that yielded to a cowboy rolling Mediterranean pluckfest, all in search of a melody, but none the less enjoyable. Hip, playful, and energetic.

Sequence Voiture dotdotdot
Sequence (Instrumental)

Sequence is correct, as this seems to me to be a backtrack for a sequence, not a song. Pleasant listening, but not commanding of attention.

Strange Mary Jane dotdotdot
Islandic (Instrumental)

Slow islandic shimmer, notes and chords invoking lagoons and playful nights. A very enjoyable track.

Big Boss A Go-Go dotdotdot
Los Straitjackets Animal (Instrumental)

It's been done... like Los Straitjackets barnyard animal twang, but more gutty guitar tone. Too fun for parties, devoid of melody, driven by a need to whammy. Way fun.

Crime Wave dotdotdot
Bee Hive (Instrumental)

Chunky bee hive picking, sliding into noodly riff rock. It was cool for a few bars.

Underwater Morphine dotdotdot
Chop Shop (Instrumental)

Guitar chop riff dominated progressions, whammy suavity, and coy little slides. Quite refreshing, and friendly. Tasty.

Polaris Shake dotdotdot
Barnyard Riff (Instrumental)

Chicken pickin', barnyard struttin', menagerie rock of Laika & the Cosmonauts proportions.

N'ecoute Pas Les Idoles dotdotdot
Organ Surf (Instrumental)

Surfy second guitar, spiffy tones, under an organ lead that whistles like a poor man's Johnny & the Hurricanes. OK.

Psychotic Rocket dotdotdot
Buzzy Riff (Instrumental)

Los Straitjackets styles progression, riffed constantly. Not very interesting after the first couple of buzzes.

Pinball Loser dotdotdot
Italian Island (Instrumental)

Whammy twang, Italian imagery, and island sway, like something the Blue Hawaiians might adapt to their polished lap steel sound. A fine track, interesting and pretty.