Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Seamonkeys - They're Alivedotdotdot
artworkThe Seamonkeys play the Ventures songbook for an appreciative audience. A nicely recorded and played set of classic instros and more, marred by overbearing bass.
Picks: Night At The Casbah, Walk Don't Run, Rockula, Mr. Moto, Nostalgia, Love Potion No. 9, Apache, The Cruel Sea (The Cruel Surf), House Of The Rising Sun, Snooboogie, Ginza Lights, Driving Guitars (Ventures Twist), Sleepwalk, Misirlou, Bumble Bee Twist, El Combanchero, Secret Agent Man, The Munsters Theme

Track by Track Review


Night At The Casbah dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

This is a slightly slowed version of Richard Podolor's "Casbah." A little lounge, a little exotic, and nicely played.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Johnny Smith's classic "Walk Don't Run" is driven essentially the way the Ventures cut it.

Rockula dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Los Straitjackets' "Rockula" is twangingly delivered in an appropriately lumbering format.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

This is a solid version of Paul Johnson's most famous song. A little slow sounding, and with a modified progression, "Mr. Moto" nonetheless is quite satisfying.

Nostalgia dotdotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Big twang, rich whammy, and swimming sensibility. Moderately melodic, "Nostalgia" is among the more interesting pieces here. It has a bit of a Mediterranean sound to it.

Love Potion No. 9 dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Leiber-Stoller penned the Robins' classic "Love Potion No. 9" to great effect. This instrumentalization is nicely thought out and well played.

Apache dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Based mostly on the Shadows' version, "Apache" is well done, with rich guitar and warmth. Very nice.

The Cruel Sea (The Cruel Surf) dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Mike Maxfield's claim to fame is arranged the way the Ventures did it. Splashy and energetic, and quite fun.

House Of The Rising Sun dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

It's funny how many bands cover this ancient blues song made (rock 'n' roll) famous by the Animals. This is a richly done rendition with warmth and precision.

Snooboogie dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

"Snooboogie" is a fast rockabilly-ish big guitar riff rocker. Spunky, way fun, but not melodic.

Ginza Lights dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

The Ventures made "Ginza Lights" a standard among instro-eleki fans. A pleasant and shimmering version, though the bass is so over powering here, it's hard to listen to.

Driving Guitars (Ventures Twist) dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

"Driving Guitars" is a Ventures classic that has been issued under a couple of titles. Nice track.

Sleepwalk dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Santo and Johnny's slithery "Sleep Walk" is shiny and warm, though sans the slither of the lap steel. Pretty and lush.

Misirlou dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Dry guitar with rough meter plays "Misirlou" about like the Ventures did. Not power stroked like Dick Dale, but with an interesting second guitar.

Bumble Bee Twist dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Bongos add class to the Ventures arrangement of Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov's melody. Gutsy and fun.

El Combanchero dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

"El Combanchero" is marred by a sudden drop into murky mono, but otherwise, this is a solid arrangement and performance. maybe the most interesting, except for the drop out.

Secret Agent Man dotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

Phil Sloane wrote "Secret Agent Man." Johnny Rivers cut it. Everyone covered it. Not particularly notable.

The Munsters Theme dotdotdot
Big Guitar Twang (Instrumental)

"The Munsters Theme" has become a modern surf classic for some reason, being covered by dozens of bands. This is straightforward version with slight country edge. Cool second guitar work and nice whammy.