Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Reventlos - Songs Of The Golden Westdotdotdotdot
artworkIt's about time! I'd begun Reventlo withdrawal. As with their wonderful first CD, the Reventlos have made more excellent music with multiple personalities, and not just song to song, but within each piece. Their knack for transposing sounds that should by rights be kept apart, and making them harmonize is unsurpassed. There are a couple of vocals here as well. "Haunted Valley" is a dandy narrative number over a sorta Captain Beefheart / Captain Kopter & the Fabulous Twirlybirds kinda thing that keeps you wondering if there are any normal people out there, and all the while hoping there aren't. "Greed and Lust" is a vocal very slightly like "Persephone" from the first CD. Funky and fun, spooky and mystical. No, this is not a surf CD. It is an excursion into intro land where only Reventlos go!
Picks: Fun Zone, Spahn Ranch Rodeo, Stan Orlow, Crawl To The Reventlos, Mondo Reventlo, Groove Part I, Hey Andy, Crankheads Of Elsinore, Dildale Girls, Veronica, 2227-A Pomona Avenue

Track by Track Review

Fun Zone dotdotdot
Deliverance (Instrumental)

Cowboy banjo surf, deliverance breakdown beach trauma... totally fun.

Spahn Ranch Rodeo dotdotdot
Deliverance (Instrumental)

A short burst of surf and grodie parlor haunting. Would be a cool tune if fleshed out.

Stan Orlow dotdotdot
Imaginative Demented (Instrumental)

Playful humpin' jive, a nifty rhythm, warm chords, and a spiffy tight performance make this unusual tune stay with you.

Crawl To The Reventlos dotdotdotdot
Imaginative Demented (Instrumental)

Gotta have those Reventlos titles... and, as before, it foretells of an introspective view of the what it's like to be a Reventlo... a man with many faces, all competing for the front of the head, none able to stay there for long enough to produce a singular view. "Crawl To The Reventlos" meanders between several differently textured movements, all of which compliment each other. Excellent!

Mondo Reventlo dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

Kettle drums and haunting spaghetti western melody on a fine sounding guitar. Short, but worth a listen.

Groove Part I dotdotdot
Spaghetti Western (Instrumental)

This is a surfy pounder, with heavy metal lead licks and cool grodie bass lines. A nice blend of incongruous sounds.

Hey Andy dotdotdotdot
Country Fun (Instrumental)

This is a great outtake from their album. It's a happy nearly acoustic country bumpkinesq song inspired by Andy Griffith, and that should give you an idea of it's sound. Very fun track. No surf to it, but wonderful listening. This is among the most unusual bands around, and a fave of mine.

Crankheads Of Elsinore dotdot
Techno Surf (Instrumental)

When Joe Meek conceived "Telstar," he could not have possibly imagined this. Thin techno fluff, orbiting around the musical planet, just waiting to dismay the unwary. "Telstar" cries out for creative covers, but unlike "Pipeline," it has mostly attracted the unbelievably tame. Casios at twenty paces would be an improvement.

Dildale Girls dotdotdot
Imaginative Demented (Instrumental)

Bluesy chicken ranch country, or maybe it's a Tom T. Hall party at the Y? It's not really important, when the Reventlos break out the fried chicken, it's a barn dance with checkered table clothes and sultry pigtailed ladies.

Veronica dotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

The Pachuko Soul variety of surf is very evident here, from the obvious influences of the Rhythm Kings' "Soul Beat" to Jim Waller & the Deltas and their Central Valley cohorts Jim Duval & the Gauchos. This is a highly Jim Waller influenced tune, with Dave Myers' "Laguna Limbo Luau" leanings. It, none the less, rises above mere sound alike with it's energetic honkin' and squealin' sax work.

2227-A Pomona Avenue dotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

Slow groovin' "Hernando's Hideaway" backtrack and a saucy sax. Dramatic Latin heat flows through the sensual tones.