Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Shockwave! - Death Racedotdotdotdot
Death Race is an adventure in surf for a number of reasons, including the rare covers, the imagination of genre bending, and the muted leads. This CD really grew on me.
Picks: Roppongi No Ben Chan, Dusty Sand Sahara, Thunder On The Sea, Lucifer Sam's Surf, Shock Wave, Blue Jeans No. 1, Force Of Gravity, Kilauea Volcano, Snow White Survive, Under The Water, Mandchurian Space Reggae

Track by Track Review


Death Race dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rolling tom toms thunder under big surf. The melody is good, and the the keys are kept to a minimum. "Death Race" is a fun track with a solid beat and some splendid whammy chords.

Roppongi No Ben Chan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fine western melody, muted surf guitar rhythm pattern on the right and chords on the left. "Roppongi No Ben Chan" grew on me as I listened. It has an open road traveling feeling about it, and a number of glissandos.

Dusty Sand Sahara dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dangerous layers of guitar, whammy chords, ominous spy suspense, and some interesting arrangement elements. There's little here that delivers on the title's theme, except for the break, which is just superb, and in my opinion should be the main song.

Thunder On The Sea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Jack The Ripper chords, almost Surfites tone and writing. This is one cool track. It sports superb surf sounds and an infectious rhythm track. The lead is mostly muted, which is just perfect for the melody. Very nice track.

Lucifer Sam's Surf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pink Floyd's "Lucifer Sam" was just waiting for the reverb... and here it is. This is just too cool! Muted reverb, tremolo, and big surf. I love this!

Shock Wave dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Zorba & the Greeks' splendid "Shockwave" has only been covered a couple of times. This is part spooky, and part reverent. Very nicely done, especially the delicate muted reverb, and the dribbling double picked lines.

Blue Jeans No. 1 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very nicely cover of Terauchi Takeshi and his Blue Jeans' eleki classic "Blue Jean No. 1." Solid surf guitar, glassy glissandos, and fun.

Force Of Gravity dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Genuine vintage, obscure surf done with substantial reverence. This is a solid cover of The Genteels' "The Force Of Gravity." I don't think anyone besides Jon and the Nightriders have covered this before.

Kilauea Volcano dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tuff surf guitar, tom tom action, and whammy chords. "Kilauea Volcano" is an original song with lots to attract you. Superb tone and muted splash, plus power drive and some double picked fire too.

On A Tropic Night dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Built around the rhythm patterns of the "Walk, Don't Run" chords, but with a less interesting melody, "On A Tropic Night" is a good listen, but it just didn't call me back.

Hollywood Punk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great tom toms, ringing chords, and fuzz lead. maybe a little Davie Allan-ish, and riding atop a pair of muted surf pattern guitars. The non-fuzz parts were very appealing to me.

Snow White Survive dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting track, with some unusual passages, dark double picked melody, and superb bridges. I like how it evolves through its verses. Rich and genuine.

The Adventurer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Adventurer" has a very European sound, with reverbed baritone lead. It's a fairly fluffy piece with a nicely written melody.

Under The Water dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big surf guitar, drum thunder, bass boom, and dark power. "Under The Water" seems to be all about the sound and lurking danger. very cool.

Mandchurian Space Reggae dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A reggae backtrack, deluxe slow muted surf lead with dub echoes. "Mandchurian Space Reggae" is a superb adventure between genres that's sure to bring a gin. You will have to work to dislike this one. Rasta, man!