Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Satan's Pilgrims - S/Tdotdotdot
artworkI think this is among the best releases for Satan's Pilgrims. Mostly surf, and pretty infectious at that, it plays well and invites multiple listenings. There are some departures from the surf sound into the Northwest genre, but mostly this is a solid surf release. Satan's Pilgrims previous releases have often been marred by spotty recording and writing. This is much more consistent, though a little demo like in the drum sound. Well worth a spin in your CD player.
Picks: Badge Of Honor, Theme From The Arturan, Fra Diavolo, Tears and Years, Step It Up, Casbah, All Day Party [All Night Party], Mutha Fuzz, Frankenstomp, Super Stock, Black Marquis, Chi Chi, Jungle Room, Hungarian Dance No. 5, Beach Binge

Track by Track Review

Badge Of Honor dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Badge Of Honor" is a pretty infectious tune, with a good melody riff, and excellent rhythm. It has a warm trad structure that holds together well. Personally, I think this is among the best tunes they've written.

Theme From The Arturan dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Theme From The Arturan" is pretty riff dependent. It seems to need a hook or something to fill it out.

Fra Diavolo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a mighty nice track. "Fra Diavolo"employs a tasty riff that has a European feel to it. The track is well developed, and sports a friendly approach. Most enjoyable.

Tears and Years dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tears and Years" is an exceptional track. It's moody gentle flow remind me of some early Jon and the Nightriders material. Excellent damped second guitar an in-sync damped lead picking. Pure reverb joy.

Step It Up dotdotdot
Rock R&B (Instrumental)

With an almost Halibuts structure, a dry lead tone, and organ, this jumps out as apart from the rest of the tracks here. It's more Northwest than surf, sort of a cross between Bat Man and Dave Lewis R&B.

Casbah dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rhythmic and precise rendition of Richie Podolor's exceptional tune. It's much more restrained than the Sandy Nelson original, and the mix on the drums doesn't highlight the snare in the same way either, even though the drum work is almost beat-for-beat the original. This isn't a negative comparison, just a characterization necessary when the arrangement is so close. The effect of the less driven performance changes the track from a power monster to a more rhythmic and open work.

All Day Party [All Night Party] dotdotdot
Frat (Instrumental)

This Northwest progression riffer is in the groove of the long lost Viceroys and their contemporaries, but with a guttier guitar tone. Definitely more frat party than surf.

Mutha Fuzz dotdotdot
Biker Fuzz (Instrumental)

Monstrous fuzz that lies between Davie Allan and Travis Wammack, and the garages that bore the Sonics, but without the energy or drive of those earlier artists. It's VERY fuzzy, and it sports a fun riff and some pomp as well, plus it suggests an ancient Harley.

Frankenstomp dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A sort of "She's Waiting" beat and a thick riffin' progression right out of a garage in Portland. Lots of Northwest feel.

Super Stock dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Super Stock" is an excellent tribute to the Super Stocks. The melody is suggestive of their music, and of Roger Christian's writing, like a cross between "Santa Barbara" and "Redondo Beach." Infectious and rhythmic, and with warm tone.

Black Marquis dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A spiffy surf riff and warm tone deliver images of a lowered Mercury Marquis on PCH looking for girls in Mustang convertibles. The tune flows with sunshine and a warm breeze. Darn enjoyable.

Chi Chi dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Chi Chi" is warm and islandic, with sultry whammy and ringing tone. It presents a real tropical lagoon image, complete with orchids and gentle breezes. This is an excellent track.

Jungle Room dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fine infectious rhythms abound, while pure surf reverb notes flow. The riff is simple, but when combined with the backtrack, it just plain infects, like an Eliminators' version of "Tequila" influenced by Dave Myers and the Surftones pre Del-Fi recordings. Excellent rhythms and pure surf luau fun. Wonderful.

Hungarian Dance No. 5 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A completely different take on this than the Ventures' "Rap City." This is more pure, less surf. It flows with an appealing gate and sound. The double picked last verse is almost mandolin like. A nice arrangement.

Beach Binge dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is inspired by "Midnight Run" in the opening, but loses ground by leaning heavily on a basic riff. The surf tones are great, and some of the picking is pretty spiffy. Overall, it works fine. The song sports chunk and an organ, and a surfy lead melody. A little Super Stocks like, a little garage pop, a little "Whittier Blvd." in the progression, and a little infectious. Also called "Beach Creep."