Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Shi-tones - Demos / Outtakes / Premixes [1999]dotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis 1999 demo contains 12 tracks in several styles by the then-developing Shi-tones. The sound is an amalgam of the Mermen, surf, and the Indian subcontinent.
Picks: Jungle Jump, Movin', Adventures In Paradise, Falling Up, There Is A Tear, The Bumble Bee, Drivin' With ZZ, Crazy Guitar, Falling Up, Jewels, Burning, Sway

Track by Track Review


Jungle Jump dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums, long guitar chords, and tweaky sounds blend in a relentless rhythm dominated track that has an industrial edge and samples for effect. Very unusual for Jim Thomas and company.

Movin' dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lee Hazelwood's classic surf riff rocker is well suited for the Shi-tones. It's damped reverb plucking and echoed drums, delicately delivered, and rhythm dependence make it quite cool.

Adventures In Paradise dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The theme to the ABC television series is beautifully stretched out with island sway and warm breezes. Subtle, tribal, and carefree, "Adventures In Paradise" is a stunning track.

Falling Up dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Mermen classic is more traditionally delivered, with heavy bass and exotic drums. The whammy dipped guitar riffs give it that Duane Eddy twang. On the ominous side, this arrangement is magnetic and wonderful.

There Is A Tear dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A beautiful and wistful melody line floats on the evening air like lilac on a summer evening. Very pretty.

The Bumble Bee dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Antiquarian Ventures' song with a bit of grumble and twang. Delicately played with precision and charm.

Drivin' With ZZ dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A double kick drum beat and a chop-rhythm guitar drone evolves into a song of vibrato charm and endearing danger. Like Link Wray with shimmer, "Drivin' With ZZ" is adventurous and slightly ominous.

Crazy Guitar dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Guitar riffology and adventure, with stinging whammy chords and circular motion. "Crazy Guitar" is not at all crazy, but rather warm and slightly edgy. The whammy chords are intense and powerful.

Falling Up dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The classic Mermen song "Falling Up" is repositioned with a restrained intensity and funky beat. It lumbers of wings of gauze, moves with grace and funk, and is angular and fanciful. Very cool song.

Jewels dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A heavy thunder industrial beat under tweaky slow-change electronics, with an Indian sitar-ish guitar line and psychedelic flower power feel. Excellent.

Burning dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thump and incense, raga ethics, and exotic drones permeate the flowered night air. With a distant feel and hazy opium den scene, "Burning" floats with an off-the-beaten-path foreign adventure sense.

Sway dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Mermen's glorious "Sway" is beautifully lush and delicate in this arrangement. Poetic and lush, it takes your breath away.