Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ryders - In The Shadowsdotdotdot
artworkThis CD is beautifully produced, with no subtle nod to The Shadows and The Atlantics. Loaded with cool whammy chords and occasional surf, In The Shadows is an excellent side trip from surf's mainstream. It will grow on you.
Picks: In The Shadows, Fairytale, Journey To The Stars, Secret Love, Quartermaster's Stores, Autumn Dreams, Vilja O Vilja, Pandora, Reef Break

Track by Track Review


In The Shadows dotdotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

Lush ambiance and airy keys provide space for the long guitar notes to flow from across the room. "In The Shadows" is very pretty, with a fine melody. This cover of Martin Cilia's excellent Atlantics instro has the character of The Shadows, and the imagery of Australia.

Fairytale dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

"Fairytale" is a gorgeous original. The subdued mix on the keys in Leslie swirl is very appropriate, adding space and emotion without obstructing the guitar's melody. It's been a while since I've heard organ used this affectively in this style of music.

Journey To The Stars dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Ventures' "Journey To The Stars" is rich with long delay and perfectly played drums. The guitar delay makes the glissandos sound chunky and organic. While not traditionally effected for surf, there's no doubt about it's roots, and the delicate playing just adds to the surf credibility. The lead is delayed is stereo such that it feels like two guitars at times. This is a really good version of this song.

Secret Love dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

Holy cow, you CAN rock out on a Doris Day song! The melody is very strong, which helps, and the arrangement may be borrowed from the 1960 Cliff Richard and the Shadows release. The rhythm track is spunky and fun in an almost country way.

Santa Ana dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

Jerry Lordan's "Santa Ana" floats on long waves of sustain over an orchestral feeling backtrack, which seems to pulse a bit from reverb and compression. The break is particularly cool.

Space Wagon dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

Roland Billner's "Space Wagon" is a warm track with swimming pool whammy and a somewhat western melody. very tasteful.

Quartermaster's Stores dotdotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

The traditional "Quartermaster's Stores" is very upbeat and infectious. One of The Shadows' most successful b-sides is the inspiration here. Great twangin' rhythm guitar and spunky drums. Too fun!

Autumn Dreams dotdotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

"Autumn Dreams" is a gorgeous original from the pen of Lennert Clerwall. Soothing, romantic, and very very satisfying. The melody is superb, and the arrangement supportive.

Georgy Girl dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

Tom Springfield's hit song (The Seekers) is very poppy and an easy listen. The drums are very good here, and the warmth of the arrangement adds to the uplifting message of the song.

Yellow Jacket dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

This is maybe the least gritty of all of the many covers of The Ventures' "Yellow Jacket." That's not a bas thing, just an observation. The song's structure lends itself to adaptation. Rockin' and tasteful.

Flowers dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

Delicate slow and fluid, "Flowers" is a lovely backdrop kind of track. This is one easy instro. You may not sit with eyes glued to the speakers, but when it's done, you're satisfied.

Vilja O Vilja dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

"Vilja O Vilja" is bouncy and spunky and fun. Its exuberance is exhilarating. There's plenty of joy here. This is from the Merry Widow I think.

Pandora dotdotdot
Shadows Rock (Instrumental)

This is an other original from Lennert Clerwall exhibiting his exquisite sense of melody. This is beautiful, fluid, and lush. The melody and ambiance carry along like a wide river on a fall afternoon.

Reef Break dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Martin Cilia's superb instrumental "Reef Break" (The Atlantics) is done with a very optimistic sound and tone. This is a fine track, with great rhythm, excellent guitar work, and big splash.