Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Pollo Del Mar - Pitstop Nov 1, 2003dotdotdotdotdot
artworkIn my humble opinion, Pollo Del Mar has grown into a musically amazing band. It had been too many years since they dropped into the pit for a show - too damn many. On November 1st, 2003, the dry spell ended. For an hour and a half, Pollo Del Mar played astoundingly good music, and luck smiled on my mix, and everything went well. This is a document of that performance.
Picks: Annabelle Lee, Dripping Springs, TX, 7 Sisters, 7 Seas, A Flash Of Green, Charlie Don't Surf, University Avenue, Peaches En Regalia, Balls Of St. Cajones, Wild West Medley, Red Asphalt, Telstar, Paneolo, Mission Impossible, In The Hall Of The Mountain King, As Above, So Below, You Can Take Your Clothes Off When You Dance, Jack The Ripper, Dark Side Of The Mushroom

Track by Track Review


Annabelle Lee dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This great instrumental slides with sultry liquid guitar and bass lines and perfectly placed drums. Moody and loaded with imagery, "Annabelle Lee" remains one of my favorite Pollo Del Mar songs!

Dripping Springs, TX dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With the mysterious and dangerous mood of a spaghetti western, "Dripping Springs, TX" is an open range cactus surf drama set for a screen debut. An infectious rhythm and rolling beat, a spectacular melody full of visionary outdoor space, and solid bass underpinnings... what a fine song, and those stinging whammy chords! Yeow!

7 Sisters, 7 Seas dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An exotic, tribal, and nearly Indian beat dramatically supports the kind of melody only Pollo Del Mar can muster. This is a spectacular song with danger and mystery, and a sense of open space and shorelines. Another winner!

A Flash Of Green dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"A Flash Of Green" has a delicate whammy sound and coastal adventure feel. Those PDM chords and the lure of the curl are abundant. There is more than surf here, with writing and arranging that are brilliant. A magnificent song.

Charlie Don't Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Clash's only peon to the aqua-life (unless you include the 101-ers' "Surf City") gets an instrumental treatment. It opens with a sorta "Walk Don't Run" drums intro, and moves into a liquid splash of the Joe Strummer lines offset by surfable rhythms. Excellent!

University Avenue dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Los Straitjackets' catchy "University Avenue" is slowed a bit for a more liquid flow. A pleasant cover of a very pretty song.

Peaches En Regalia dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

My favorite Frank Zappa song, "Peaches En Regalia" is a very nice surf instro at the hands of Pollo Del Mar. It retains the angularity, but with reverb-smoothed edges and a coastal feel. Excellent!

Balls Of St. Cajones dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In a bow to their bill-sharing with Slacktone, Pollo Del Mar do a fine job arranging "The Bells Of St. Kahuna" for two guitars. They called it "Balls Of St. Cajones," and I'd guess that is due to the degree of difficulty this song represents.

Wild West Medley dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As you might guess from the title, "Wild West Medley" is a string of cowboy anthems in Pollo Del Mar's liquid style. "Apache" is the opener, and it's hopped up with a great rolling cowboy rhythm as compared to the slow fluid way they did it as a single piece. Second in line is XXX with dripping surf reverb. Next came "Bonanza," with all the requisite twang and reverb required. After Hoss's ride, they dove right into "The Fishin' Hole" from Mayberry, RFD. Then came a stinging chord version of XXX. Then, the archetypal cowboy instro "(Ghost) Riders In The Sky" rode through, with deluxe percussion and reverb. It all closed out with a few lines from "Apache." A little over 9 minutes of cactus reverb and fun.

Red Asphalt dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dedicated to the CHP highway gore films of your high school drivers ed. classes, "Red Asphalt" has a dangerous road hazard feel to it, with power and fire. Mighty fine!

Telstar dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening for nearly a minute with tortured feedback and reverbed pluckeria, the Tornados' "Telstar" becomes an artful space epic. This just has to be the most original arrangement of Joe Meek's great song anywhere. very cool!

Paneolo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening as if it was "Hawaii Five-0," this song dives right into the classic land of Pollo Del Mar. The slightly sad melody and great percussion combine to create a visual song with an attractive structure.

Mission Impossible dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lalo Schiffrin's film score gets a facelift. It's not really far off it's birthplace, but is drenched in reverberation. Rhythmic and haunting.

In The Hall Of The Mountain King dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Finally, a really cool cover of Edvard Grieg' "In The Hall Of The Mountain King!" It builds very slowly through reverb and water to a crescendo of surf madness. If ever there was such a thing as art surf, this would be the definition of it. Entirely too cool!

As Above, So Below dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"As Above, So Below" is a very pretty track that Pollo Del Mar has been playing since their beginning. It's a slow, haunting, and melodic song. Over the decade or so they've been playing this song, it has grown from merely beautiful to eerie and magnetic.

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

This Frank Zappa song becomes incredibly cool at the hands of Pollo Del Mar. Jazzy surf slither, quirky rhythms, edgy and pumped up. The double pick glassy bridge is beyond reproach. This has rightly been in their set for a millennium.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slightly different from the version on the Link Wray tribute CD Guitar Ace, this is an amazing performance of Link Wray and his Raymen's "Jack The Ripper." Deluxe tortured feedback, superb sustain, and driving power. Great drums, thundering bass, and intense guitars. Like a cross between Link Wray and the Raybeats!

Dark Side Of The Mushroom dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Man oh man! This song came into Pollo Del Mar's set for inclusion on a developing Richard Podolor tribute. Podolor wrote it, the Chocolate Watchband released it, and Pollo Del Mar transformed it from just cool to a psych surf monster. Long sustain, slowly shifting phase and wah wah a la Hawkwind, and the soul of the night. Very cool!