Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Speedball Jr. - Whiplashdotdotdot
artworkThe vacuum created by the demise of the Apemen is partially filled by Speedball Jr., a band that certainly has captured the loud and thrashy abandon of those Dutch crazies. They lack in many songs, but sure do get the power part. There's a totally cool black and white mpeg video of "V8" on the CD as well.
Picks: Mars Attack, Los Vampiros, Planet Fairplayers, V8, Space Run, Whiplash, Teaserama, Overture, L'Amour la Mort, Dr. Evil

Track by Track Review

Mars Attack dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

"Mars Attack" opens with eerie effects that rise from some imaginary B-movie space epic. The song gutty and edgy, with howling Theremin and overdubbed narratives. hard edged with a repetitious riff that rises and rises. Strong glissandos, danger, and tweaky weirdness, just not melodic.

Los Vampiros dotdotdot
Thrash Surf (Instrumental)

Big thunder hard edged surf with power and a dark heart. "Los Vampiros" is nearly melodic, with a commanding power and dark storm surf rage. Great drums.

Planet Fairplayers dotdotdot
Thrash Surf (Instrumental)

A carnival polka beat underlies the opening to "Planet Fairplayers" with an almost cute coolness. A verse in, there is a sudden burst of power from manic double picked guitar. Intense and riff dominated, like an Austin band with more volume than melody skill. Both guitars and the bass play the same riff. Way too repetitious.

V8 dotdotdot
Thrash Surf (Instrumental)

While a riff-based instro, "V8" is powerful and a little playful in a fast dark and brooding way. Some powerful moments lurk here. It's an unusual song with the lighter more melodic verses segued in and out of power thrashed double picked onslauts. The delicate damped verse is very cool.

Space Run dotdotdot
Thrash Surf (Instrumental)

"Space Run" opens with a dramatic solo guitar and stereo surf chords, like a spaghetti western scene. After almost a minute, it becomes a double picked powerbar of two guitars and bass playing the same riff, separated by interesting surf chord interludes. At 4:50, it gets old before it's finished. Not melodic.

Whiplash dotdotdot
Thrash Surf (Instrumental)

fast poundy drums, splashy non Fender reverb chords, and flash Dick Dale runs in a sort of "Wipe Out" format. major fire and pomp, with no melody. Loud and fast, thrashy and trashy, with more angst than technique.

Teaserama dotdotdot
Spanish Surf (Instrumental)

The opening to "Teaserama" is a slow and amiable series of surf chords over light drums and a bit of bass rumble. Light double picked guitar plays a sad and dramatic Spanish melody that owes a nod to the Treble Spankers in some ways. The break is a thrashfest of Dick Dale guitar attacks. Quite a nice track.

Overture dotdotdot
Space Surf (Instrumental)

the main riff employed in "Overture" is durable, and the second guitar and bass are not following in its footprints as with many of Speedball Jr.'s songs. It's a very cool track with surfable credentials and lots of edge.

L'Amour la Mort dotdotdot
Thrash Surf (Instrumental)

The drums open the loud and raucous "L'Amour la Mort." It's one of the more melodic songs from Speedball Jr., with a ton of fire and some attractive elements. Drama and intensity, with edge. Did I mention loud?

Dr. Evil dotdotdot
Thrash Surf (Instrumental)

Major fire and drive interrupted by sixties styled surf riffs and semi-delicate bridges. Think Apemen without the melody. Cool song.