Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Pyronauts - Play For Surfdotdotdotdotdot
artworkA fan from early on, I've come to regard The Pyronauts as one of the best modern surfbands, with superbly developed songs that have pushed the genre's evolution along. This album marks a departure from pure surf per se, but don't let that stop you. Play For Surf is loaded with really strong material, very well recorded and arranged. The surf is never far off, even when acoustically played. This is a great record!
Picks: Sprinkler Of Doom, Astroman, Sifaka, Amazon Warrior, The Clearing, Pie, Chick Habbit, Jessica, Rumble In Kentucky, Jawbreaker, Moby Dick, Gymnopedia No. 1

Track by Track Review


Sprinkler Of Doom dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sprinkler Of Doom" has an interesting melody line with jangle chords and a fuzz chord break. Rippin' double picked leads fly at times. Dramatic, and richly engaging. The muted surf and cowbell section is just superb!

Astroman dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Perfect muted surf rhythm and a delicate melody line that gently engages ride above great drums and bass. "Astroman" is a fine composition that's very well executed. Infectiously open road!

Sifaka dotdotdotdotdot
Acoustic Surf (Instrumental)

"Sifaka" is a superb song - among the coolest ever from The Pyronauts. Reborn in acoustic glory with violin and two acoustic guitars. It's hard to imagine rising above the five stars the original merits. This complete reinvention is way over the top! Spectacular!

Amazon Warrior dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lumbering with dribbled surf leads, "Amazon Warrior" is dramatic and luxurious. The only word I can think of here is artful! Then, power turns on and it becomes more a regular surf instro.

The Clearing dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gently played, almost acoustic, with a lovely melody and warm sound. "The Clearing" is layered with sunset beauty. What a lovely piece of music!

Pie dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The wonderful "Pie" gets an acoustic reformation. Rhythmic and engaging, with warmth and very effective arranging.

Chick Habbit dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

dark muted surf and slither in a very different structure. "Chick Habbit" is a complex work with a solid melody and engaging arrangement.

Jessica dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With an eye on its Southern Rock origin, The Pyronauts convert The Allman Brothers' "Jessica" into Southern Surf! What a pleasure! Great drums, fluid guitar, and sunshine warmth.

Rumble In Kentucky dotdotdotdotdot
Cow Surf (Instrumental)

Well now! Steeped in Link Wray and his Raymen's "Rumble," with bluegrass and surf and acoustic jangle. "Rumble In Kentucky" is just wonderful, kinda like Hamster Ranch's "Paranoid." Fiddle, acoustic, and fun!

Jawbreaker dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tuff surf rhythm, nasty sax, and a genuine fifties knife fight rumble epic! "Jawbreaker" is mighty heavy, and very dangerous! I love this! Essential!

Moby Dick dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" turned aquatic. I never realized how much this song's guitar lines depend on The Chantays' "Blunderbus." A long and very well played drum solo surrounded by heavy riff rock.

Gymnopedia No. 1 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and easy, with a bit of sadness and a gentle rain outside. Erik Satie's "Gymnopedia No. 1" may be a very unusual choice, but it sure translate nicely into sullen island surf. Quite lovely!