Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Royal Guitar Ensemble - Golden Guitardotdot
artworkYou may wonder why this is reviewed... and so would I until the surf instro titles appeared in the track list. "Apache" and particularly "Diamond Head" present a surprising diversion from the mostly unmemorable fare on this album. The playing is really REALLY good, but certainly nothing to write home about from a surf perspective.
Picks: Apache, Diamond Head

Track by Track Review


Haunted Guitar
Rock (Instrumental)

Extremely light weight adult electric guitar... cheesy organ and squeezebox. While pretty, it doesn't get less rock'n'roll than this. Very very dismissible.

The Third Man Theme dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Stereo echoed guitar plays a very ho-hum rendering of the "Harry Lime Theme" from The Third Man. You won't miss this.

La Playa dot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a pretty beach at night kinda instro for a lost generation. Sad and fluid, and very un-hip.

The Executioner Theme dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Stilted rhythm and fluid lead guitar with reverbed percussion. Oddly interesting via the percussion, but otherwise, it might as well be "The Third Man Theme" tamed. Oddly, as it speeds up midstream, it actually gets cheesier with whistling keys.

Maria Elena dot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is one pallid version of "Maria Elena." Pretty, but so what.

Apache dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Those drums and string swipes give it away, and then the guitars come in. This is actually very nicely done, though it lacks a rock edge. Still, the recording is superbly clean, and the performance very good. All is good until that cheesy console organ comes in.

Romance D'Amour dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Spanish guitars sadly play delicate acoustic runs before a female voice comes from out of the faux Theremin closet. "Romance D'Amour" is a bit spaghetti western in a vague sort of way. I can't say I liked it at all.

Diamond Head dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Yikes... not since The Ginsu Surfers have I heard such a not-rock not-surf cover of this classic Danny Hamilton instro. That said, it has a dry charm and a surprising amount of surfisms via glissandos and, of course, the melody. It's cleaner than clean, and doesn't sound at all like the real thing, yet I couldn't dismiss it. Three layered guitars rock your world... sorta!

Solenzara dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Light romantic Mediterranean romance... that and a quarter will get you into the dance. Pretty, but unremarkable.

Vaya Con Dios
Rock (Instrumental)

Arranged like "The Third Man Theme," "Vaya Con Dios" is further damaged by a female chorus that just takes anything that is here out to lunch. Not very cool.

Carelia dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This classic melody is dome is a silky variation to the classic Buddy Merrill arrangement of everything. "Carelia" is really nice, but not really memorable.

Johnny Guitar dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

many British and European bands covered this melody. This is a extremely well played and pretty in a sad way, but other than as a backdrop for a cantina scene, it's not memorable.