Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Splash - S/Tdotdotdot
artworkThe Splash present a very precise and often restrained instrumental CD. The music, while nicely written and fluidly played, also seems to lack immediacy and passion. Ventures fans may well dig this, since it owes a lot to that band. Only the slightest hint of surf...
Picks: Euphonya, Daytona Dreams, Hondo Rondo, 10th Planet, Clambake, Eddystone Rocks, Comanche Pass, Slot Car, Open Channel D, Lone Shark, Faraway, Koko Head

Track by Track Review

Euphonya dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

"Euphonya" is a nicely written piece, with a classical underpinning, and a more fluid Ventures feel. The overall sound is more jangly and layered, with the lead at a balanced level with everything else. Warm and friendly.

Daytona Dreams dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

Sparkling chords speak of retirement palms and gentle breezes. The melody is light, almost frothy, like an optimistic Paul Johnson piece, but a little country and without his signature interplay. A pleasant afternoon on the coast.

Hondo Rondo dotdotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

"Hondo Rondo" sports cool drums and a nearly surfy riff. Much more infectious than most others here, its catchy experience stays in RAM after listening. An open road kinda tune with an optimistic edge.

10th Planet dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

This very "In Space" period Ventures sounding tune is quite nice, more than competent, yet too derivative for me. The damped notes are cool... it's just has too many borrowed elements, from "Telstar" to the Ventures.

Clambake dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

Soft-spoken jangle pop, nicely phrased and whammied, but the passive mixed relegates it to mostly background. The writing is good... it's just a bit too tepid.

Eddystone Rocks dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

Chords abound in this warm round twangster. Ventures style writing... precision playing in borrowed phrase.

Comanche Pass dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

A little more oomph and twang than most others here, "Comanche Pass" sports some pretty solid whammy and warmth. The jangle chords seem to be somewhat in the way of the lead melody, but not enough to dampen its endearing qualities.

Slot Car dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

"Slot Car" is built around a pleasant countrified melody played over a nondescript backtrack.

Open Channel D dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

A quirky stop-start opener, and a smooth and restrained melody line. Slightly sad, a little country, and very competent with solid whammy.

Lone Shark dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

Too much sparkle for a song about a shark, but enough of a watery sense that it fits near the edges of the surf genre where the Ventures occasionally played without reverb. "Lone Shark" is a warm vacation retreat kinda track.

Faraway dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

"Faraway" moves gracefully through a constrained space where images fear to tread, but technically correct liquid notes reign. No sense of distance here... The structure is neither exotic nor adventurous.

Koko Head dotdotdot
Ventures Rock (Instrumental)

This seems to be a little pretentious, not in a heavy sense, but by virtue of a deliberate feel and precision. Delicate and interesting, yet not really friendly or memorable. The delicate damped slightly reverbed break is cool.