Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Reverb Syndicate - Mondo Cactidotdotdotdot
artworkBoy oh boy! Mondo Cacti is a really strong release! Exceptional writing, very well thought out arranging, lots of attention to detail in recording, and superb drums. Go for it!
Picks: A Shadow Descends On A Dusty Town, Theme To Mondo Cacti, Return of the Angry Gentlemen, The Unsophisticated Senor, Guadalupe's Lab, Wandering Man, A Plethora of Pinatas, Mondo Cacti (reprise), Worse Things Happen At Sea, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Gunfighters, Los Alamos Breeze, Six Shooter Shuffle, Mud Puddles And Abandoned Saddles, Last Train To Death Valley Junction, Tequila Canyon / El Gran Final

Track by Track Review


A Shadow Descends On A Dusty Town dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"A Shadow Descends On A Dusty Town" is a short introductory piece, mostly eerie guitar stuff over drum madness. It segues beautifully into "Theme To Mondo Cacti."

Theme To Mondo Cacti dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rich tone, open adventure on the desert, great drums, and very cool interplay between the two guitars. Galloping cowboy surf with plenty of changes and a very good arrangement. I love this.

Return of the Angry Gentlemen dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Glissandos and double picking with chord-rhythm and a fine bass line. The drums are interesting, and the sound seems layered. "Return of the Angry Gentlemen" is adventurous and fun.

The Unsophisticated Senor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spanish rhythms and great drums, with a classic Mexican bass line, meld with a fine melody and splashy fills. "The Unsophisticated Senor" is a superb track with an exotic edge and engaging energy.

Guadalupe's Lab dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Drama and great drums, with an easy riff and walking bass line. "Guadalupe's Lab" is easy to like. The organ is a bit of a sidetrip into soul/go-go territory, but otherwise the song is Spanish lace with superb drums.

Wandering Man dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Drums and gentle feedback present a spooky backwash of a mystical burial site. Perhaps the "Wandering Man" is visiting his ancestors. Almost psychedelic in its ethereal sound.

A Plethora of Pinatas dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums, writhing drums, a superb bass line, and a very cool guitar line perfectly arranged to present this song. "A Plethora of Pinatas" has a hint of psychedelia in the bass line, and an infectious rhythm and melody. Anyone who can use the work 'plethora' in the title of a surf instro deserves all of your attention!

Mondo Cacti (reprise) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Back for a bit more, with distant narration, ghostly in its not quite understandable sound, and distant echoed drums with acoustic guitar. Haunting.

Worse Things Happen At Sea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An adventurous arrangement with a jazzy guitar line and rhythm. Excellent drums and very well placed bass notes. "Worse Things Happen At Sea" is almost goofy, but it's definitely on the cool side. Grins and mathematical play.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Gunfighters dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Wonderful galloping drums and energy, with a splendid melody line and perfect western imagery. "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Gunfighters" is just plain infectious, and really fun.

Los Alamos Breeze dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With an Indian feeling, tribal drums and very cool, subtle bass run with a delicate lead guitar and haunted second guitar. Verging on psychedelic, "Los Alamos Breeze" may be short, but it's very cool.

Estruendo En El Rancho dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Eerie keys precede a chop chord reverb fest. Low down lead guitar lines and infectious rhythms alternate with haunted keys in a combination reminiscent of The Neutrons' "Snow Covered Eyes," or maybe "L'Hippie Nationale" from the Black Hole Star album. It's guttier than that of course, but the effect is similar.

Six Shooter Shuffle dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Playful guitars and fine bass lines are made better by very cool drums. "Six Shooter Shuffle" is a raucous number with a frantic beat and very mathematically playful sound.

Mud Puddles And Abandoned Saddles dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spooky guitar with a bit of feedback and distant keys paint a boot hill on peyote picture. Endangers you brain.

Last Train To Death Valley Junction dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With traveling adventure in the rhythms, and Spanish deserts in the melody, "Last Train To Death Valley Junction" is optimistic, with double picked bridges, and very cool rhythm chords not too far from "Tequila."

Tequila Canyon / El Gran Final dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Marvelous drums and Spanish guitar lines, with horn-keys, and a totally exotic sound and image. "Tequila Canyon" is entirely cool! Some of the drum work reminds me of Jeremy Rexford of Pollo Del Mar. Splendid. "El Gran Final" is a big kettle drum-like ending.