Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Splashdowns - The Space Actdotdot
artworkThe Splashdowns are more or less a lo-fi frat band in the general neighborhood of the old Pacific Northwest sound, who's songs are badly recorded and mostly riff and jam based.
Picks: Countdown, Happy Lift Off, Gravity Problem, Swing-By Technique, , LOR or EOR, Luna Rover Test Ride, Ranger I, Apollo 8, Slingshot Maneuver, Ham 'n' Apple, A To Z Competition, Mambo On Mt. Hadley, The Grand Tour, Selentist's BBQ, Jungles On Venus?, Rendezvous, 1973 - Things To Come

Track by Track Review

Countdown dotdot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

Opening with a countdown sequence, "Countdown" launches into a simple frat rock progression that gets old really fast. In some ways, the choppiness is interesting, but mostly it's just too unchanging.

Happy Lift Off dotdotdot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

With what sounds like Gibson distortion, "Happy Lift Off" sports a happy go lucky melody line that's almost surfable, but there's nothing surf about the tone or the structure.

Gravity Problem dot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

Just jammin' rhythm track in the frat rock / "Batman" sense, with nothing at all to keep it afloat. No melody, and non-discrete sound.

Swing-By Technique dotdot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

"Swing-By Technique" seems to me to be derivative of of the Northwest inversion of R&B, but with a sense of deliberate repro instead of in-the-groove genre riding.


LOR or EOR dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"LOR or EOR" is a fast-ish thrasher with a surfable riff and energy, and significant coolness. The lo-fi murk is not too bad here, and the energy certainly displays chemistry and drive. The hollow body sound, and the "Comin' Home Baby" bridge keep it from rising to greatness, yet it's pretty fun.

Luna Rover Test Ride dot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

"Luna Rover Test Ride" is really "Night Train" with a frat rock rawness. Nothing special, but with significant energy and moron chants.

Ranger I dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This is a slow and moody blueser with a strangely attractive arrangements. Even the ambient sound seems to fit the track well enough. That's until the Link Wray thrash comes in and trashes the whole mood.

Apollo 8 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The eerie feedback and space grumblings of the introduction give rise to the darkness of space. The song itself is more of a surf pummel lost in the back room of a frat house. Potential yes, delivery no.

Slingshot Maneuver dot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

Fast pumpin' frat rock with a ton of energy and precious little focus. Luckily, it goes by fast.

Ham 'n' Apple dotdot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

"Ham 'n' Apple" is a slow number that reminds me a little of some of the Seattle-Tacoma area bands of 40 years ago. More a jam than a song.

A To Z Competition dot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

The grumble of the bass is annoyingly grating up front in this riff rock number. It always seems to be getting ready to become a song, but never quite makes it.

Mambo On Mt. Hadley dotdotdot
Island Mambo (Instrumental)

Echoes ambiance and passionately suave island guitar lines play a holiday track with a primitive attraction. A little Spanish, a bit of the tropics, and a warm and friendly melody line. Quite a nice song, despite the marginal sound. It reminds me a little of a slowed and sultry "Tijuana Taxi" (Pretenders).

The Grand Tour dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums power under shallow whammy guitar. melodic and surfable, "The Grand Tour" is a cool song with a solid arrangement. A little sad, and on the coastal side.

Selentist's BBQ dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

This slow blues jams with an undulating after hours coolness. Pleasant and enjoyable, but murky sounding.

Jungles On Venus? dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool track with a damped slightly reverbed rhythm pattern and fine surf whammy. Its sense of humor and tropical adventure are fun. The absurdity of the jungle calls that erupt are intrusive, obscuring the coolness of the track. Oh for a good recording of this!

Rendezvous dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Rendezvous" is a slightly faster instro with a warm coastal drive feel and catchy riff. It's a fine piece of music, well played, and enjoyable. The samples are intrusive and the sound a bit murky, but it still attracts.

1973 - Things To Come dot
Wah Wah Funk (Instrumental)

Like most of the funky instros, "1973 - Things To Come" is much more about the rhythm wah wah and the progression than it is a song. No melody, but a funky track with jammy structure.