Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Special Agents - Bulletproof Beatdotdotdot
artworkThe new CD from the Special Agents is a mix of Hammond oriented riffs and great surf inspired strangeness. Much of this CD is superb, but it's not surf in the usual sense in most cases. Adventurous and off the beaten track.
Picks: A Spy In The Ointment, Our Man On Mars, Calling All Agents, Cast Your Spell, Come In, Agent 45, Do The Wiggle, Death Probe, Double-O-Surfin', Shuffy, The Tingler, Soul Agent, The Spectre Walks, The Lunar Sea

Track by Track Review

A Spy In The Ointment dotdotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Lots of energy, pounding drums, tremolo guitar, and a whirling melody line. This is rock'n'roll pumped out as if it's live. "A Spy In The Ointment" is right cool!

Our Man On Mars dotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

With the swirl of the Hammond driving the vision, "Our Man On Mars" is big and maybe a little pompous, though in an endearing way. Not particularly melodic\ in a memorable sense.

Calling All Agents dotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Much ado about those boys in trench coats. The Hammond is the key to this track. Melodic and swirly.

Cast Your Spell dotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

A great melody is driven by the organ as if there's no tomorrow. Great drums and thunder bass, along with rhythm guitar.

Come In, Agent 45 dotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

"Come In, Agent 45" is a very nice track. Organ lead, nice guitar lines, solid bass, and busy drums. A fun track.

Do The Wiggle dotdotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

"Do The Wiggle" features fuzz guitar playing a fun riff, and a solid beat. The Hammond comes in part way through. Not complicated, but with elements of psych in the production. Quite fun.

Death Probe dotdotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

In the tradition of space rock instros before Hawkwind and Pink Floyd, this song rides on a fine little riff and swirling sound. A bit of psych weirdness and a catchy riff dominate the listening experience. Right from the opening air raid siren, you know there's going to be danger. Led by the organ, "Death Probe" is a classy riff dominated track with a kind of dark carnival sound. The guitar is not prominent enough in the mix to be heard adequately over the organ, which is imaginatively swirled and twirled. Nice track.

Double-O-Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Slowly rising from the inaudible depths of espionage, "Double-O-Surfin'" becomes a fine surf instro, with stinging guitar playing a catchy riff over a solid ominous spy backtrack. Adventurous and solid, with glissandoes and excellent drums. It hints just a tad at "Secret Agent Man."

Shuffy dotdotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

"Shuffy" is a playful track with rich surf guitar and a moody sound. The spy parts contradict the surf, but then, it's the juxtaposition that creates the wonder.

The Tingler dotdotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Psycho-dramatic mentally unbalanced like a limbering metal torture epic. If Alice Cooper were to play surf, it would end up like this. Quite original.

Soul Agent dotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Soul Agent is a fun track dominated by a spy riff played on organ. The metronomic beat and rhythm create an contrast to the white-soul sound of the keys. It reminds me at times of the house organs in silent theaters, yet is not antiquated. It's more about the playing style or something. Anyway, "Soul Agent" is a cool track that rides along side sixties soul instros pretty well.

The Spectre Walks dotdotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Fuzz, great drums, throb, marvelous surf chunk, and a very twisted keyboard warble. "The Spectre Walks" is thoroughly inventive and disturbing. Great drums!

The Lunar Sea dotdotdotdot
Hamond Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

Slow moody soundscapes ooze from the effected guitar swells as "The Lunar Sea" flows across the ocean's surface. This is really spooky,m and very cool indeed. Haunting, mysterious, ominous, and chilling. The keys are ghostly, and the careful use of stereo reverb in the mix places you in a huge place from which you may not escape. Excellent.

Out at the end is a rousing and heavy cover of "Comin' Home Baby" that's a monster!