Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum - Reverb Rehabdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the second release from Australia's Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum. many fine tracks here. It's not at all traditional surf, and in fact is much more rock, but the intensity of the guitar tone and superb caliber of the drums and bass make this hard to ignore. Reverb Rehab is a great title!
Picks: Mr. P.C, Wet Suit Dream, Torquay, Prickly Pear, Strawberry Fields Forever, Seasons Of Change, Bondi Stomp, Paisley Dayze, All The Things You Are, Goodbye Bluehaze, Elegy For Pluto, The Ballad Of Private Mitchell, She's Not There, 55 Customline, Ginchy, First Light At The Aussietron, Conversations With A Frog

Track by Track Review

Mr. P.C dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Great tribal drums and thumpin' bass carry Ben Rogers' guitar well. "Mr. P.C" has a sort of Big band feel to the melody and beat. 'Tis a really cool track, with warble and edge.

Wet Suit Dream dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Ringing chords and mystical ambiance present a lovely if foggy image of quiet waters. The melody is lovely, and the drums tribal. "Wet Suit Dream" is a very nice track!

Torquay dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a rousing version of the Fireballs' "Torquay." party hollers and "Tequila"-like feelings emanate from every corner of this rocker.

Prickly Pear dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Prickly Pear" is a slowish number with bluesy edge and big sound. I'm not sure why the title, but it's a fun track regardless of meaning. Great cowbell in the bridge!

Strawberry Fields Forever dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Slightly spooky, large and twang dominated, this cover of the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" is sweeping and intense. It's a wholly original arrangement. There's active panning at times, and it verges on psychedelia.

Seasons Of Change dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a slow, sultry instrumental with intense distortion and wide ambiance. The harsh aural textures are in stark contrast to the pretty melody, providing contrast that keeps this interesting. The break is fast and chop-chord driven, and features a very good drum solo of just the right length, augmented by bass and occasional guitar lick. Very cool!

Bondi Stomp dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Bondi Stomp" is a rompin' number with big guitar intensity and a catchy riff. Great drums syncopate with the guitar at times, provide drama at other times, and always provide a strong counterpoint.

Paisley Dayze dotdotdotdot
Psychedelic Surf Rock (Instrumental)

In a swirly psychedelic style using Middle eastern chords in the intro, "Paisley Dayze" shimmers with tremolo and occasionally grits with distortion. This is an engaging, almost captivating adventure in psych beyond the stereo types. Very cool.

All The Things You Are dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"All The Things You Are" is a slow sullen number with long sustain and a light beat. It hints at the waterfront and detectives of bygone eras. Moody and very enjoyable.

Goodbye Bluehaze dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Like a cooled down and moodier interpretation of "Egyptian Reggae," this song sets up a mood with it's ambiance and progression. There are soaring modern rock guitar lines in places, but also some very moving passages.

Elegy For Pluto dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

A playful melody line and a great beat combine into a fine instro for an afternoon drive up I-5. Long stretches without changes of scene could be made bearable with "Elegy For Pluto" in the changer.

The Ballad Of Private Mitchell dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"The Ballad Of Private Mitchell" is an easy moving number with a spatial sound. It's soft sadness has a certain optimism about it. It's large and soft at the same time, and bit bluesy too.

She's Not There dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very reading of the Zombies' "She's Not There." It's thick sound and hyper modern tone give it a whole new depth. Angular, abrasive, and engaging. It's highly unlikely that Rod Argent intended any such thing. Very cool!

55 Customline dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

As the engine idols, the island images float on a low temperature jazzy sound. The walking bass and easy beat give "55 Customline" a sinewy quality, while the guitar leaves it squarely on a tropical plane.

Ginchy dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Bert Weedon's classy "Ginchy" is superbly done, with whammy and darkness and distortion and... yup, this is just a really nice way to reinvent this classic melody.

First Light At The Aussietron dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Tribal drums rule the roost as the thick chords slowly float upon shallow whammy, and then muted guitar lines connect with an emotional center deep within. "First Light At The Aussietron" is a superb song with ample changes and an air of psychedelic cowboy. Really cool!

Conversations With A Frog dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Frogs gently chirp in the night air, the cymbals bring out sensuality, and the gentle guitar lines paint an easy picture of a moonlit night. Very nice track.