Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Relampagos - 1965dotdotdot
artworkLos Relampagos (the Lightnings) was to Spain what the Shadows were to England and much of Europe and the Ventures were to the US and Japan. This disc collects some of the more rockin' sides, with some marvelous arrangements and a nearly surf version of "Miserlou."
Picks: Dos Cruces, Seguidillas, Luna de Espana, Le Leyenda del Beso, Maria Dolores, Babieca, Hay Quien Dice de Jaen, Nit de Llampecs, Limosna de Andalucia, Noches de Andalucia, Dulcinea, Misirlou

Track by Track Review


Dos Cruces dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

"Dos Cruces" opens with the "Walk Don't Run" rhythm, but then graduates to a very Shadows style, with the requisite deep whammy. The airy slushy keyboards are a strange contrast. The melody is mature and wistful, but also supports some surfability.

Seguidillas dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

Like a sideshow flamenco, this prances with precision military timing and a fluid melody, castanets, and way too much fun.

Luna de Espana dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

Whirling organ over damped guitar present a Mediterranean melody with an ear for slightly splashy pop-rock in an MOR vein.

Le Leyenda del Beso dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

The organ takes the lead on this track. The guitar, bass and drums lay down what could be a great backtrack to a fine guitar instro, and under the organ, it seems to bring more edge and immediacy. The melody is enjoyable, and the overall effect a little like a Joe Meek track.

Maria Dolores dotdotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

Spanish chop, warm guitar leads, and a generally Euro sound. At first, this didn't strike me as memorable, but afterwards, I wanted to listen again. Very nicely done.

Babieca dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

A galloping rhythm under a haunted organ lead... makes for a slightly strange mix, especially as the chorus comes in. The arrangement is a little like Joe Meek, but a lot less compressed and full.

Hay Quien Dice de Jaen dotdotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

A bit of the Spanish cowboy, shouts and warm guitar tone, and an infectious rhythm. "Hay Quien Dice de Jaen" may be the coolest track here, just begging for a modern surf cover.

Nit de Llampecs dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

This is a time-warped piece, with near "Telstar" keyboard sounds and hints of "Washington Square" at the ends of the riffs, and excellent almost surf delayed lead guitar with a shimmering feel. It's a slow and almost military number with a cool melody.

Limosna de Andalucia dotdotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

This guitar track is nicely played in lower registers, and crosses between the Shadows sound and something more distinct. It also sports great drums. Solid.

Noches de Andalucia dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

Acoustic flamenco guitar and fluid organ, this loungy number floats across the mind with a peaceful sub-Shadows feel and a commercial air. Quite nice.

Dulcinea dotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

"Dulcinea" opens with a serious version of the narration style used in the Treble Spankers' "Araban," and features an almost calliope melody and feel. It's playful, slightly twisted, and quite fun. The dulcimer tone is tasty.

Misirlou dotdotdotdot
Flamenco Based Surfish Soft Rock (Instrumental)

Ah, yes... organ and guitar... The guitar double picks the lead a la Dick Dale, but not as driven. It's a little like some Japanese version from that stand point, but it's also very cool, maybe even a little like the King Loser version of 30 years later. Lots' of fun.