Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet - Dim The Lights, Chill The Hamdotdotdot
artworkThis is significantly less interesting than their singles were, though it does sport some nice tracks. Many here are very short.
Picks: Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham, Reid's Situation, I Know A Guy Named Larry / Sing Sing Sing, Exit From Vince Lombardi High School, Aunts Invasion, Running Meredith, Bang Bang, Hot Box Car, In My Room, Dewy Drops Of Spring, 5 American 6 Canadian, Who Painted Whistlers Mother, Case Of The Missing Lady Fingers, Jackpot, D. Tour, Hunter S. Thompson's Younger Brother, Misogomye The Object, Ben Hur Picked Off In A Gazebo, Who's Afraid Of Alyson Hymer / Wow Flutter and Hiss, You Spin Me Round '86, Babakgawoosh, Siesta Cinema, Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham Reprise

Track by Track Review


Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham dotdot
Post Surf (Vocal)

Generating mood shifts, a narrated meal is expressed above a lounge lizard backdrop.

Reid's Situation dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

"Red's Situation" is more in the typical Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet groove, with ringing chords and a catchy little riff. Short and fun.

I Know A Guy Named Larry / Sing Sing Sing dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

Great chumpy riffs and big twang over tribal drums and the main theme from Sing Sing Sing. It's more than friendly... soothes the savage beast, you might say.

Exit From Vince Lombardi High School dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

Melodic and moody, this egress anthem twangs and slithers with a simple progression and a hypnotic relentlessness.

Aunts Invasion dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

Those pesky aunts (sans uncles) invade the tranquility of your listening room, striking a blow for motherhood and apple pie, while dashing the very idea of guitaristry... but then, Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet overcome all such attempts at their freedom by presenting a fine melodic instro that;'s friendly even to the most obnoxious auntie. Cool track.

Running Meredith dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

This is a spiffy organ instro with a fine riff and an infectious lilt. "Running Meredith" whistles and shines with exuberant exuberant.

Bang Bang dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

Yup, it's the Sonny and Cher hit... but wait, before you run screaming, the fluff is replaced with edge and serious pomp. Great guitar work and silent grins, plus a bit of a spy sound and some chicken boppin' elements too, combine to remake it as only Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet can. The Cossack stomps towards the end are very cool.

Hot Box Car dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

"Hot Box Car" is bit of a Spanish herky-jerky, with black lace and a tango feel. Pretty cool, with a liquid melody line and warm tone. Quite short though.

In My Room dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

The old Beach Boys adolescent whiner shines under the Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet treatment. They may have sung insipid teen slush and been generally loathed by the surfbands, but the Beach Boys' melody writing was excellent. This is smooth and very pretty.

Dewy Drops Of Spring dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

Very short blast of solo guitar ultra whammy feedback twang... no, it's not a song, but it sure is cool - but then I'm a sucker for feedback, and the uglier the better.

5 American 6 Canadian dotdotdot
Exchange Rate Surf (Instrumental)

So, the actual source of the melody is so familiar, but I can't quite grab it... anyway, "5 American 6 Canadian" is a frothy thing with Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet chanted over the breaks.

Who Painted Whistlers Mother dotdotdot
Whistlers Surf (Instrumental)

A softly whistled wisp of a bit a fluff... but wait, the thistled part jabs in with the same melody portrayed through twang and vibrato. It's all too playful and light. very nice.

Case Of The Missing Lady Fingers dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

Suave detective shimmer from groovy latitudes, then spiked dementia across the aisle... this is not only unique, it's playful and fun... grins all around.

Jackpot dotdotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

"Jackpot" chumps and jives with a jumpin' beat and whammy riff. Infectious and endearing, with a tad of silliness.

D. Tour dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

A desert harmonica opens onto a rhythmic chunky track with great whammy and warm tones. The melody riff here is quite friendly, with a slight cowboy feel.

Hunter S. Thompson's Younger Brother dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

Slightly dissonant progressional madness from inside your eyelids during a thunder storm... yup, that about sums it up, a rainy day kinda tune.

Misogomye The Object dotdotdotdotdot
Cowboy Surf (Instrumental)

Cool bass licks and stingy whammy teasing the cactus outta lonesome cowboy Bill. Big feedback and very cool string bending drive this dangerous ride across the open plain. The slow oasis scene midstream is a pleasant repast from the trip, but soon enough, we must again take to the road. Most excellent.

Ben Hur Picked Off In A Gazebo dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Progressional noodleage... just too repetitious for me.

Who's Afraid Of Alyson Hymer / Wow Flutter and Hiss dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

"Who's Afraid Of Alyson Hymer" is a fine number with big guitar twang and solid beat. It's whammified and twangy. "Wow Flutter and Hiss" floats across the monitors with no small thump. Cool twang, deluxe chunk, and a sorta spy feel.

You Spin Me Round '86 dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

This is a raw live capture of Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet, originally issued in June of 1987 at gigs and the like on their private issue 46 1/2 R.P.M. single. It's a whirling organic thing with a Pacific Northwest influence, as well as a Memphis edge.

Babakgawoosh dotdotdot
Post Surf (Instrumental)

Chunky note stompin' chicken bop with jive and striptease runway drums. Mostly a rhythm track, yet quite fun.

Siesta Cinema dotdotdot
Naptime Surf (Instrumental)

Mexican imagery and happy bambino's playing on the beach. "Siesta Cinema" is quite a fun track. The melody is warm and friendly, and well matched to the guitar tone.

Dim The Lights, Chill The Ham Reprise dotdot
Post Surf (Vocal)

Generating mood shifts, a narrated meal is expressed above a lounge lizard backdrop.