Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Pollo Del Mar - The Ocean Is Not For Cowardsdotdotdotdotdot
artworkSan Francisco's Pollo Del Mar have just issued their first CD. The y have definite Zappa influences, a wonderful and unique sense of melody, and plenty of watery underpinnings. The music is loaded with jazz and desert and island shimmer and unique melodies. There is just no one out there doing what they are doing. Sophisticated writing, hot performing, and unusual combinations of elements bring it all together for a unique trip down the highway of instrumental hugeness. A great band. Ferenc Dobronyi is the main man, writer, and lead guitar masher, Jono (Juano Kahones) Jones carries the exceptional rhythm guitar, Jefferson Turner does the bassisms, and Chris Thomas whacks the drums. Pollo Del Marvelous!
Picks: Teleport '63, Death Valley Daze, Playa Pistola, You Can Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, Insecticide, The Blue Rider, 2314-B, To Surf With Love, The Whammy, Erik Estrada, Gate', Nightsticks, Snow Crash, Pearl Diver

Track by Track Review


Teleport '63 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surfin' the space continuum with a jazzy edgy duel between Jono's & Ferenc's guitars. It conjures images of a battle scene on a small blue planet near Aldebaran. The structure of the song and the grand glissandoes speak volumes about adventure and challenge. Phasers on stun - NOT! This is for keeps!

Death Valley Daze dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Among my favorite bands occupying the suburbs of surf, Pollo Del Mar deliver a wonderful Zappa-esq jazzy tune dripping in desert visions and surfy soundtrack possibilities. There are no other bands doing what their doing. They have a unique niche in the surf world. melodic and off beat themes are the norm for this most arty of surf bands.

Playa Pistola dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track is really cool. It has a rolling beat and shimmering twang. More "surfy" than most PDM tracks, this has a pretty trad melody and structure. It is very infectious, and I suspect it will endure in your collection. The sax adds an extra bonus, creating even more surf ethos. Very cool!

You Can Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This Frank Zappa song is totally cool, with it's jazzy surfified slither and quirky rhythms. Edgy and bitchin' to the max.

Insecticide dotdotdotdotdot
Desert Surf (Instrumental)

Written in honor to the Insect Surfers, this masterful track features Pollo Del Mar's trademark dueling guitars, something the Insects also widely use. The guitars are intense, and the desert mysteriously appears in your mind's eye as you bath in the soundscape. Gettin' air off a snowboard racing down a sand dune just barely avoiding the major scuffing a wipe out would deliver. Wow!

The Blue Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow sinewy melody line over a nice counter melody and soothing rhythm section. It beckons like a small island off Baja on a war spring afternoon while the waves gently lick at the shore. Imagery... yes! Very pretty song. Among the best in the set.

2314-B dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This song goes back to 1966 and a band called Sidetrack whose "Baby" album was almost issued by Elektra. It has wonderful jazzy progressions and chords, and an infectious melody. Amazing, and amazingly different from the original.

To Surf With Love dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Way short bit of near flick fluff to tease... very cool and shimmery... what it does is intro "The Whammy." They play as a set.

The Whammy dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Infectious rhythmic off beat and intellectually sound. I sure like what's going on here. Great band - great track. Many nifty changes, bits of a half dozen different genres... a must.

Erik Estrada dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a smooth and romantic track. The intro just simply shimmers. Eventually it yields to a few speedier flourishes, but mostly, it's just simply gorgeous. Quiet evening mood music for sure. When Jono break into the exclamatory emotional peon to Erik Estrada in Spanish, it is enough to bring tears to your eyes, and when they all join in the chorus, well, it's like watching UniVision on a hot summer afternoon with the Miami / Cuban dancers kicking up a storm. Totally cool tune! Almost entirely instrumental.

Gate' dotdotdotdotdot
Exotic Monk-chant Surf (Instrumental)

The monks chant... Then, one of the coolest surf-n-ska melody grinders ever hauls you down the highway. One of my long time favorite PDM songs. Melodic, and quirky, and the ska section is just too infectious!

Nightsticks dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Howling feedback opens into distorto fuzzmaster lead and Amon Duul II "La Paloma" rhythm guitar. Edgy, dissonant, and accented with an alternative break style that brings the whole thing together. Completely unlike the rest of the CD.

Snow Crash dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

My all time fave from their early days... it has lots of energy, a mountainous feel, and a very sophisticated structure. Love it.

Pearl Diver dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A taste of feedback - a huge howling actually, and tons of edge. I recorded this live during their performance in front of an audience at Winter Swell. It rocks majorly, and fits really well with the rest of the set. This track gives you a taste of the power they have live...