Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Pyronauts - Live At The Mystic Theatre featuring Dusty Watsondotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a splendid live set of gutsy surf the way only the Pyronauts can make it. Lots of great energy, and a ton of splash.

I don't know this for sure, but is credited as the recording source, and they are the Mystic Theatre and boast board recordings. It sounds very much like a soundboard tape that's been stereoized with a bit of reverb and other post-production. One telltale sign are the guitars not as prominent as they should be, or as the Pyronauts normally mix them, as well as the complete lack of stereo panning except for post production effects. The clincher is that annoying house sound kick drum. Why, oh why do house-sound guys always do that? This is way better sounding than most such tapes. Don't let this stop you, because this is a really great set of surf!
Picks: Penetration, The Ghastly Stomp, Iron Board, Beach Bum, Lake Surfin', Sleep Walk, Pie, Mike's Barracuda, Supertanker Surf, Endless Summer, Cal-Tiki, Sifaka, Wipe Out

Track by Track Review

Penetration dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a solid rendering of the Pyramids' classy "Penetration." It's very traditional, with some very tasty whammy sting on some chords. Very tight and effective.

The Ghastly Stomp dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Ghastly Stomp" is a grumbly reverb crash laden surf number that's rhythmic and splashy. The Low-E growl and high e sparkle, and the excellent arranging carry this number off.

Iron Board dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Alfred Hitchcock's theme is solid, driven, and very warm in it's slight dark edge. Great drums.

Beach Bum dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Beach Bum" sports solid drums and a traditional progression arrangement. Changes, variations, and high energy drums. The sparkle of summer surf brightens the day. Very nice.

Lake Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The melody line in "Lake Surfin" is solidly surfable, with a dribbled double picked midsection that's almost magical. The great drums, smooth grumbly bass, and frequent verse to verse changes keep it happening. The ska verse is a brilliant move. Liquid and reverby.

Sleep Walk dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very nice version of "Sleep Walk" with silky slide guitar that apes the lap steel really well. Probably the best reverb-dripping version ever! Very seductive and sweet.

Pie dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A very infectious surf beat grabs you right away as "Pie" takes off. Double picked, joyous reverb, and a cool melody line. Solid beat and energy, and plenty to make you smile. An excellent track!

Mike's Barracuda dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mike's Barracuda" is a faster surf track, rhythmic and splashy, with great glissandos. basic surf grumble and power.

Supertanker Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cutting through the crests and troughs as if they aren't there, a supertanker would have a hard time shooting the curl, yet "Supertanker Surf" seems to project just such an image. A playful track with a great thumping bass and lots of dribbling reverb.

Endless Summer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Sandals' "Endless Summer" is liquefied with reverb and delicacy. It brings warm grins to your heart to hear it so well done.

Cal-Tiki dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cal-Tiki" sports a rippin' surf rhythm behind a chunky riff with great drums, cool whammy chords, and dribbling glissandos. Fine track!

Sifaka dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sifaka" is a splendidly infectious song with a sophisticated structure driven by superb surf rhythms. There are many fine tracks I love from The Pyronauts, but this is perhaps my fave. It portrays mysterious imagery, surf power, and a playful sophistication not common in surf. Superb playing and writing.

Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Pyronauts do a pretty credible "Wipe Out," with drums about as close to the Ron Wilson sound as I've heard in a while. Quite fun.