Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Sprayface - S/Tdotdotdotdot
artworkSprayface is a studio and live project of Gary Usher Jr. A track or two appeared ages ago on the Sounds From The Inside Volume 2 sampler that came with California Sound Magazine. These are new tracks that show a well developed sense of sound and style unique to Sprayface. It's not surf per say, but is rather a kind of hard rock vision of the surf. I found it to be mostly engaging and very surfable. The one vocal here is a creative and slightly psychedelic cover of the Byrds' "So You Wanna Be A Rock 'n Roll Star."
Picks: Pipedream, Mag Rims, Reverends Redemption, Nine Tana Leaves, Trenchmouth, Rumblefish, Submarine, The Ranger, Bolero Sombrero, Sundrenched, Carrier Waves, The Will Of The Wave, Endset

Track by Track Review


Pipedream dotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums echo with jungle danger. As they come to a stop, a lonely guitar delivers a "Pipeline"esq rhythm. The main melody line is more hypnotic than melodic, and on the hard rock side. "Pipedream" is oddly compelling.

Mag Rims dotdotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

The surf classic "Mag Wheels" was also issued as "Mag Rims." It is well adapted to a modern rock format, with stereo cars racing across the monitors. The sound effects and the chanted hot rod catch phrases are unnecessary in my opinion. The track is quite solid and very spunky.

Reverends Redemption dotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

With a compelling and simple progression, and inviting chords, the slightly moody "Reverends Redemption" engages and rocks in its own way. A few nicely double picked lines, glissandos, and rhythmic modern tone.

Nine Tana Leaves dotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

A sci-fi sample about the brewing of the leaves opens this exotic and moody number. The song is injected with voices eerily speaking of the nine tana leaves. More hypnotic than melodic, and pretty spooky.

Trenchmouth dotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

On the dark side, "Trenchmouth" is rhythmic and dangerous, like a metal inversion of a Link Wray idea. Lots of aggression here, and the pulsing chop chords are interesting.

Rumblefish dotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and moody, with long sustained notes, and an exotic rhythm. The production values create a spatial sense and an uneasy feeling. Pulsing with unseen danger, "Rumblefish" is spooky and subtly ominous.

Submarine dotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

"Submarine" is rhythmic and pulsing, with metal chords and grunge drums. It hints at of what Randy California might have done if surf had crossed his mind during the Captain Kopter and the Fabulous Twirlybirds sessions. Nice track.

The Ranger dotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

Long notes haunt "The Ranger" like the intro to a desperate end to a character in a spaghetti western. Moody, haunting, sad. It's a brief interlude that sets a scene very well.

Bolero Sombrero dotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and profoundly sad, like a score to run under a funeral, "Bolero Sombrero" gradually rises from the past and looks forward with cautious optimism. This is simple and very moving.

Sundrenched dotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

Stereo delayed guitar hints at the surf, and the roads that skirt it. "Sundrenched" would do well with the top down. It has a sense of looking forward cautiously. The tribal percussion and moody bass lines haunt the past while the guitar dries its eyes.

Carrier Waves dotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

Fast aggression, open road danger, and dark guitar tone strike a dangerous and moody pose. "Carrier Waves" seems more hard rock and drum centric than others here.

The Will Of The Wave dotdotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

"The Will Of The Wave" is a lumbering epic of aquatic sadness and drama. It's a very big number emotionally, and has a spatial sound. Drama comes from long fuzz chords and thundering tom toms, and the sadness is delivered by the guitar. In some ways, it reminds me of maybe Jeff Beck.

Endset dotdotdot
Hard Rock Surf (Instrumental)

"Endset" is a short piece played on solo guitar, combining damped chords and open notes with sound effects of traffic and spring birds.