Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Sonars - Live at KXCI 2.16.2004dotdotdotdot
artworkThe Sonars played live on KXCI's Locals Only show on February 16, 2004. Thirteen instros, mostly covers, but all with original arranging. The recordings is more ambient than I would like, but not so much that it detracts from the performances. I'd like to see this band live in the Pit at KFJC.
Picks: Walk Don't Run, Out Of Limits, Green Hornet, Saguaro Safari, Bustin' Surfboards, Squad Car, Deep See Detective, Penetration, The A Treatment, Jack The Ripper, Spanish Blue, Mata Hari, Sleep Walk

Track by Track Review


Walk Don't Run dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Sonars opened the show at KXCI with a pretty traditional arrangement of Johnny Smith's "Walk Don't Run." The bongos set it apart from the pedestrian, and compliment the band well.

Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mike Gordon's (Agates) hit for the Mar-Ketts is nicely done. While it's quite reverent, the bongos add immeasurable to it, and the full out playing gives it a lot of energy. This is quite a nice track. While it's not perfect, it's very enjoyable and quite solid.

Green Hornet dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well now, this is really strong. The throb of the vibrato guitar, the pulsing bass line, the wail of the Theremin, and the exotic edge brought about by the bongos combine to create a rock solid track. Long dribbling glissandos way high up on the neck give an eerie edge to "Green Hornet." Quite an experience!

Saguaro Safari dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The slow and moody intro to "Saguaro Safari" is haunting. The song is well written, and the performance quite solid. Big island shimmer, a bit of distortion edge, exotic percussion, and a mournful soul. Very nice song.

Bustin' Surfboards dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bustin' Surfboards" is not often covered, in part because going beyond the perfection of the original is quite a chore. The Sonars retained its pace, shimmered it our a bit and added a little whammy, resulting in a fresh sound. Very nice!

Squad Car dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Paul Johnson's ultra classic "Squad Car" gets a whole new feel from the percussion, Theremin, and distortion. It's also slowed down just a bit, giving it a less frantic sound. The Theremin caries the siren's role.

Deep See Detective dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Deep See Detective" is dark and chunky, and ominous. Heavy, fuzzoidal, and splashed with bongos. Thick, dangerous, and mysterious, like a cold war epic. Very dramatic.

Penetration dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

While this is on the heavy side and sports added percussion, it's played with reverence. Thick guitar, percussion coolness, solid bass, and relentless drums. The Theremin break is priceless!

The A Treatment dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lush guitar and bongos call to the jungle in the opening, but then the power rises and the guitar plays a dangerous double picked run between heavy lines. An adventurous and varied song with drama and power. This is a Laika and the Cosmonauts' cover.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Glorious vibrato brings out the danger in Link Wray's most dangerous song. The pace is lumbering, the Theremin adds insanity to the mix is a stereo swirl of overload and wailing, and the drama of the grumble caps it off. Excellent!

Spanish Blue dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Aqua Velvets' slithering "Spanish Blue" is played out with the long sustain Miles Corbin employs. I find it interesting how the distortion adds to drama to the slither of the melody line. The percussion is a natural, and the bass and drums ride beneath it all in a well suited support role. All in all, this arrangement works really well.

Mata Hari dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slinky drums bring forth an ominous song with a desperate and lurid sound. Thick, dangerous, dramatic, and heavy, yet delicate and enticing. Radical string bending or modulation in places adds a bit of a nervous edge. Great track!

Sleep Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Santo and Johnny's often covered "Sleep Walk" is slowed down, sultried out, and gently rolled out like a lace backdrop to a misty scene. An original approach with an endearing feel.