Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Shig and Buzz - Sonic Travelerdotdotdotdot
artworkShig 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


New York dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

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.

Lonely Rider dotdotdotdotdot
Desert (Instrumental)

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.

Traveler
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.

Yellow Magic Bus dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Gyration 'G' dotdotdot
Haunted (Instrumental)

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.

Two Angels dotdotdot
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 dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"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!

Spy dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

More guttural than spy-titled songs usually are, and with the eighties bass sound, "Spy" is like an espionage time capsule. Simple, but fun.

Beach Bound dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

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 dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

"Morning" rolls along by as the eyes slowly open to a rising sun. Picturesque and soothing, with a bit of a foggy image.

Shooting Star dotdotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

One of the most infectious melodies Shigemi Komiyama every wrote. The pace and melody are utterly infectious, and the total affect totally cool!

Antwerp Express dotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Heavily reminiscent at time to the Shadows' "FBI," this is nonetheless a fun track on its own merit. Bouncy and tweaky.

Hawaii dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

Softly flowing on steel chords and acoustic accompaniment, "Hawaii" swirls with a holiday in the islands feel and sound. Really nice!

Black Russian dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

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 dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

"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.

Matahari dotdotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

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.

Open D Song dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

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!