Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Pyronauts - Surf Moteldotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a fine first official release from the Pyronauts. A few tracks have been circulated before as demos. This is a rock-solid surf ride of mostly four-star tracks.

Track 15 in unlisted and at the end of a seven minute silence. It's dreadfully distorted over compressed punkoidal vocal rant, as if the Sex Pistols were even worse live than than they were. It starts mid track, and ends just as abruptly.
Picks: Lake Surfin', Mohawk, Hava Nagila, Boogieman II: Boogieman Goes West, Beach Bum, Under Toe, Surfin' Espana, 4Q, I Wish I Was A Go Go Girl, Mike's Barracuda, Surfer Dave, Amazing Wave, The Fury, Vlad The Surfer

Track by Track Review


Lake Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The girls say "whenever we hear the Pyronauts, it makes us wanna grab the nearest longboard and go lake surfing." The melody line is solidly surfable, with a dribbled double picked midsection that's way cool, and tuff drums. Smooth and grumbly bass pumps with the drums. The changes verse to verse keep it quite fresh. There's a ska verse and a finger poppin' lounge verse. Liquid and reverby.

Mohawk dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow war drums and bass rhythm grumble under a moody Indian progression. The pace picks up and the war whoops rise to a tribal frenzy. "Mohawk" is a mighty cool number, not melodic, but rhythmic and infectious.

Hava Nagila dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A grumbly variation on Dick Dale's arrangement, this recording of "Hava Nagila" is a little restrained, yet has plenty of energy. A cool cover.

Boogieman II: Boogieman Goes West dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Pyronauts' "Boogieman" is brought forward with a fifty second acoustic intro and a mighty chunky reverbed surf follow on. Very splashy and infectious, "Boogieman II: Boogieman Goes West" is a spunky update with a magnetic sound.

Beach Bum dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Beach Bum" uses a traditional progression with infectious rhythm behind. While the lead is a little subdued, the track works well nonetheless. Plenty of changes and variations, and high energy drums. Thunder and sparkle, summer surf shimmer, and great reverb tone.

Under Toe dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Under Toe" is an almost classical piece with a Mermen-esq melody and punchy delivery. This traditionally toned modern surf epic is splashy and rhythmic. Great track!

Surfin' Espana dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfin' Espana" has appeared before on Pyronauts releases. It sports a Spanish melody and sounds, projecting an image of a slightly sad village scene, as if there's a funeral procession passing by. Great tribal exotica drums and interesting writing. The warmth of the track and the openness of the melody, combined with the many dramatic changes, make this a fine track!

4Q dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"4Q" is a very cool variation on a classical Russian theme, with rich tone and an infectious gate. Stands up well to multiple listenings.

I Wish I Was A Go Go Girl dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's great to hear a fresh surf arrangement of "Malaguena." While it borrows from the Trashmen, the acoustic instro and rhythm dependence, plus the warmth and ultra dribble double picking give it a complete facelift. Excellent!

Mike's Barracuda dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mike's Barracuda" is richly surf imbedded, rhythmic and splashy, and entirely cool. Great glissandos, and a basic riff driving the wave.

Surfer Dave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Surfer Dave" is a moody track with a rhythm dominated sound. The subdued melody is Russian sounding. Very nice!

Amazing Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Amazing Grace" gets the wave rider treatment... it's great to hear someone besides folky retreads and evangelists do this. Very cool idea, and nicely executes.

The Fury dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The lads shout "Unleash The Fury" to launch this richly surfable track. The bridge from Dick Dale's "The Wedge" is employed here, ample glissando anger, and lots of double picked grumble. Cool.

Vlad The Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A girl vampire utters "I want to surf your blood" to introduce this rhythmic and grumbly track. Dark and thick, and riff dominated, with the "Tequila" employed as a bridge.