Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum - Instrumentally Disturbeddotdotdotdot
artworkAlways engaging and very well played, Ben Rogers' Instrumental Asylum have again created a set of fine instrumentals. "La Mer" and "Southern Right Surfer" are particularly grand. It's always a pleasure to hear Ben Rogers' material.
Picks: Fencing, Bent Guitar Surfer, Ain't Over Yet, e-Game, Shfuffle, Tell Him, Blues On A Borrowed Guitar, Lost In D Minor, Last Coffee On Union Road, Anouman, On Board The Mandalay, Never Seize To Amaze, Eddie's Hip Joint, La Mer, Southern Right Surfer, Eddie's Hip Joint

Track by Track Review


Fencing dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Gnarly distortion and intense sustain gives the guitar a psychedelic edge, while the exotic drum beat creates a tribal air. "Fencing"may be rock, but it has an oceanic feel and would easily fit under a longboard scene. Very cool!

Bent Guitar Surfer dotdotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Whammy and long sustain create a sundown scene of dark shadows riding never ending outsiders. "Bent Guitar Surfer" is intense and thick, with an adventurous melody and superb sound.

Ain't Over Yet dotdotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Riding the range on a gritty palomino bound for another roundup. "Ain't Over Yet" is both fun and powerful, with an edgy sound and intense whammy. Its beat rhythmically rides the range much in the same way The Mermen's "Clarence" does. Great percussion and pumping bass.

e-Game dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Tremolo shimmer, western imagery, and foggy coastal air. This song has tribal drums and big guitar that goes through a number of textural changes in an almost psychedelic manner.

Shfuffle dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A lumbering, traveling beat and thick sustain, and bluesy guitar in a big electric vein. "Shfuffle" is intense and infectious. Gritty and loud, with a soaring sound.

Tell Him dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a splendidly cool cover of The Exciters' "Tell Him." Inventive and nothing like the original. Where estrogen rock used to rule, grit and angst now reign supreme.

Blues On A Borrowed Guitar dotdotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Heavy blues tone delivers a sow guitar line against an easy beat. The melody is very pleasant, making "Blues On A Borrowed Guitar" more than blues rock.

Lost In D Minor dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The melody in "Lost In D Minor" has a familiar ring to it - a trait that comes from well written lines. Gritty and thick guitar atop a flowing arrangement. Perhaps just a bit sad, it's mostly optimistic.

Last Coffee On Union Road dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Last Coffee On Union Road" is a slow moving piece with dry muted second guitar and a slightly sad melody. There are some very nicely bent notes, giving the song a sort of slither. Very cool!

Anouman dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big, thick, dramatic, and whammified, "Anouman" has an updated Earl Hagen detective theme feel, like "Harlem Nocturne" in an alley. Great fun!

On Board The Mandalay dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Mystery on ship of choice, with intense tone and edge. Some soaring notes, and lots of grit. "On Board The Mandalay" is a mighty cool rock instro.

Never Seize To Amaze dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Spaghetti western galloping rhythms and scenic melody lines create a dangerous picture of the desert. Occasional glissandos bring "Never Seize To Amaze" into the surf arena. I like this a lot.

Eddie's Hip Joint dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Eddie's Hip Joint" is a smooth, light number with slither and very cool chords. Its easy gate is quite inviting. It moves through a number of gentle changes with ease. Very satisfying.

La Mer dotdotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Ukulele chords open "La Mer," Slow exotic drums, moody bass, and long leaning guitar notes that float on high, gradually becoming pretty gritty. This may well be the coolest version around! "La Mer" a splendid cover of Charles Trenet's 1946 song popularized in the US as "Beyond The Sea" by Benny Goodman in the late forties and most famously by Bobby Darin in 1959.

Southern Right Surfer dotdotdotdotdot
Surfadelic (Instrumental)

Eerie feedback and sustained howling creates a surfadelic wash that's dramatic and soaring. "Southern Right Surfer" gradually rises from the distance into the fore with ascending intensity. It's very cool!

Eddie's Hip Joint dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The demo of "Eddie's Hip Joint" is lighter and simpler, with a warm and fluid sound. Quite nice.