Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA Shig and Buzz - Sonic Traveler
|Shig and Buzz are a very predictable good band that historically produced solid releases. Sonic Traveler is no exception, with 17 very cool tracks that will captivate. Only a few "surf" tracks, but this band's instrumental prowess and sound fit well in your collection.|
Picks: New York, Lonely Rider, Traveler, Yellow Magic Bus, Gyration 'G', Two Angels, Astro Boy, Spy, Beach Bound, Morning, Shooting Star, Antwerp Express, Hawaii, Black Russian, Meadow, Matahari, Open D Song
Track by Track Review
This very bouncy and melody Euro style instro flows with a light heart and warm, rich sound. There's nothing at all negative about the imagery, and plenty of simple pleasure.
With a galloping beat, "Lonely Rider" rolls across an open landscape with optimism and a bit of desert mystery. The melody is just a touch lonely, but the "rider" is clearly heading for a brighter day just over the ridge. Fine track.
Eastern European (Instrumental)
The mystery of a journey across Eastern Europe by rail is mostly captured in "Traveler" by the melody. Big whammified twang and spooky ambiance add to the imagery.
Before hearing "Yellow Magic Bus," I expected to detect influence from the Who's "Magic Bus," but alas I was surprised instead to hear the kind of instro that occasionally comes from the Surfin' Lungs, only a little on the dark side. A fine instro.
On the sad side of optimism, "Gyration 'G'" drifts in a ghostly wash of ambiance that gives this haunting melody a sense of fog before dawn. Quite nice.
Eastern European (Instrumental)
"Two Angels" has a sad feel to it, delivered in large part by the combination of the guitar tone and spatial reverb. Its majestic melody hints of Eastern Europe.
"Astro Boy" us superb surf instro with liquid reverb and a great rhythm and beat. This is easily the surfiest thing Shig and Buzz have ever cut. Excellent energy and surf vibe. The rapid pace is so surf, and the melody is very surfable!
More guttural than spy-titled songs usually are, and with the eighties bass sound, "Spy" is like an espionage time capsule. Simple, but fun.
Shig and Buzz have been playing "Beach Bound" for quite a while. It's all about the journey down that coastal highway in search of the perfect wave. California sound and bounce galore.
"Morning" rolls along by as the eyes slowly open to a rising sun. Picturesque and soothing, with a bit of a foggy image.
One of the most infectious melodies Shigemi Komiyama every wrote. The pace and melody are utterly infectious, and the total affect totally cool!
Heavily reminiscent at time to the Shadows' "FBI," this is nonetheless a fun track on its own merit. Bouncy and tweaky.
Softly flowing on steel chords and acoustic accompaniment, "Hawaii" swirls with a holiday in the islands feel and sound. Really nice!
Bouncy and a bit rambunctious, "Black Russian" is reminiscent of "Hungarian Rhapsody" if it was to be "Russian-ized." It's a very fun track with ample pizzaz, great drums and bass.
"Meadow" floats lightly on a crisp afternoon breeze. A little sad, somewhat flippant, and quite fluid. It's a very smooth piece with UK whammy and some guitar distortion smoothed out by the delay.
Sporting adventure and exuberance, this song is rich with infectious rhythm and cool pumping organ lines. It's mystery and charm emanate from the combination of this and the big guitar delay. Entirely cool!
"Matahari" is in honor of notorious Dutch-born Margaretha Gertrude Mac Leod, codename H21, who adopted the name Mata Hari as a cover for double agent activities during World War I. She was executed by a French firing squad.
This uncredited track has a familiar ring to it, but alas I can't place it. There's a second of silence before the music grinds forth, which is rhythm dominated and a bit dark. Very cool!