Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Sandblasters - Space Bar B-Q
|Jalapeño Salsa Surf! Finally the Sandblasters make it to CD. This effort is quite good. The Sandblasters have an Austin Surf sound, meaning there's the unmistakable Austin feel about it, and the Surf is the underlying current. Mark Stultz writes and plays guitar, and is supported synergistically by drummer Spencer Clarke and bass player Chris Happel. Mark's melodies are generally Southwest / Surf / Spy / Spaghetti Western oriented, with heavy doses of South of the Border... This is a very good CD.|
Picks: Weird Satellite, Wave King, Petrina, Naked Piranha, Water Gunn, Myan Sun Dance (Mayan Sun Dance), Tarantula Taco, Mookiest Limbo, Fiberglass Camel, Oyster Wax, Body Bag, Jupiter Beach
Track by Track Review
Space Surf (Instrumental)
"Weird Satellite" starts right off with a great big reverb kick, then settles into a fine melody and spacy feel. Ominous threats from the upper atmosphere, the kind of melody line Eddie Angel might write, and a thick intense delivery. This is a very powerful track with a Euro sense and a surf sense too. Infectious and fun.
"Wave King" opens with a Spanish acoustic guitar, but quickly converts into a big Austin whammy surf number with a solid melody line.
Euro Surf (Instrumental)
"Petrina" is a modified traditional tune, with a light and Euro-guitar instro arrangement. Its fluid guitar line is both haunting and romantic, while employing whammy and warmth. A fine song.
Latin Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)
The track is tribal, rhythmic, Spanish flavored, exotic, mysterious, and full of changes. The sound of the band is urgent, fluid, powerful, and interesting. This song has power, big twang, drama, and a fine melody and structure. Big Spanish feel with lot's of guitar filigrees. I like it more each time I hear it. "Naked Piranha" is a very VERY dark track, with huge grodie guitars issuing up low-E comin'-to-getcha chords. Cool!
Water Hazard Surf (Instrumental)
"Water Gunn" is a very unusual tune, with it's cowboy rhythm and double picked bridge. When they play this live, guitarist Mark Stultz dons safety goggles to "keep dry," so to speak. It's funny to watch his perennial grin at the humor of this gag he's done a thousand times. Powerful track.
Myan Sun Dance (Mayan Sun Dance)
Tango Surf (Instrumental)
"Myan Sun Dance (Mayan Sun Dance)" features an exquisite acoustic near-tango guitar, accompanied by hand drums. It's pretty, but not special.
Hairy Spider Surf (Instrumental)
There's something squirmy about the thought of a hairy black "Tarantula Taco!" I think they should change restaurants. This track is a grand song with mariachi trumpets and beautiful chords. This is one huge winner!!! The female vocals that come into the song near the middle are the frosting on the cake. My fave on the CD.
"Mookiest Limbo" is hardly a limbo... more a Link Wray-like sluggish in-your-street-gang number that moves into a swashbuckling scene before a low-E menacing melody rules, then back to the Link thing. This is a chunky rhythm dominated track, progressing from a riff through a full round field of solid heavy bass via a strong lead guitar line. There’s a sense of seeing Osceola at Pepperland in front of the Megadeaths (Pink Floyd) before Kimberly came on... you had to be there. The fullness and body of the track just reminds me of Osceola, a band of big guys that had a very full, meaty sound, and never recorded (too bad). Cool track.
Middle Eastern Surf (Instrumental)
"Fiberglass Camel" moves from a really nice Middle Eastern melody / progression into a big Dick Dale sounding lead. Cool and powerful track.
Intense is the watchword here. Whammy, a sense of Secret Agent Man, a feel of huge power chords, and a throbbing bass line. A big sound, and a dominating power, with a break that is delicate and floating. "Oyster Wax" has lots of James Bond influence and a nice melodic feel. Also called "Spys and Superguys."
They use a surf launch pad, but generally induce many other influences for a unique and vibrant sound. "Body Bag" sounds just like the name implies, a corpse lying in the alley in a B-movie detective story. Ominous.
"Jupiter Beach" is the sort of thing Los Straitjackets might do, with twinges of "Penetration."