Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The SpyTones - Dead Note Theorydotdotdotdot
artworkNot really surf, but very fine spy-space and spaghetti western tinged rock instro. There is a lot here to digest. I found the spaghetti western influenced track to be the most compelling (second half of the CD), but the whole thing is very well done.
Picks: Dead Note Theory, Only Time Will Kill You, Gulak, Le Saboteur, Vendetta, Sicilian, Astropolis IV, 4th Dimension, Mr. Meeks Diary, Tokyo Express, Arabesque, Dominica 67, Persona Non Grata

Track by Track Review


Dead Note Theory dotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Heavy drum throb and dissonant guitar tweakery open this modern rock assault. Big and dangerous, and adventurous, with serious grit.

Only Time Will Kill You dotdotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Drama and long spy tones haunt the night. "Only Time Will Kill You" is particularly well written, with excellent arranging and some almost howling guitar torture. Very cool!

Gulak dotdotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

A great beat and spy twang create a unique experience. "Gulak" is infectious and punchy, with orchestral keys here and there. Some brilliant moments!

Le Saboteur dotdotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Very cool tribal drums and noises, haunted keys and spooky edges. "Le Saboteur" is much more than spy - it's jungle and drama and spatial. The infectious beat really keeps you hooked in.

Vendetta dotdotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

"Vendetta" is a dramatic track with bell-like sound and tremolo danger. It has a haunted sound that's compelling, much like a film score under the end credits.

Sicilian dotdotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Sad violins play lushly under delicate guitar, just slightly reminiscent of David LaFlamme. Very cinematic, with a sophisticated air about it. Quite cool!

Astropolis IV dotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Tremolo shimmer and eery space imagery ooze from "Astropolis IV." Layered with the affect of desolation . The wash of delays and reverb create a dream haze.

4th Dimension dotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Long dark keyboard grind under vibraphone-keys and haunting ambiance. This very eerie song has a film score feeling to it.

Black Shampoo dotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

With a sort of Stax-Volt soul turned spy sound, perhaps reminiscent of The Mutants. Chop-wah-wah guitar and funky guitar.

Mr. Meeks Diary dotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Awash in tremolo ambiance, with glissandos in tow and espionage organ, "Mr. Meeks Diary" is a well written piece with dramatic chorus and a bit of spaghetti thrown in. Funny, but I didn't like this at first, but it grew on me as I wrote.

Tokyo Express dotdotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Great drums and Asian themes. "Tokyo Express" has a fluid nature with exotic stereo types used with art and respect. This is a brilliant track!

Arabesque dotdotdotdot
Spy Rock (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's "Arabesque" is done with originality and respect. A slightly disturbed contrast between rhythm track and lead add mystery. Very well done!

Dominica 67 dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Slow and haunting, "Dominica 67" has a spaghetti western feel to it, in part through its ambiance and spatial sense. Theremin warbles add eeriness. Compelling and pretty in a desert danger sort of way.

Persona Non Grata dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Almost military drum and spatial keys, with subtly galloping rhythms suggesting the desert in a spaghetti western. Extremely appropriate guitar tone delivers a fine melody. The drama builds as "Persona Non Grata" unfolds.

Broken Arrow dotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

Harmonica and acoustic guitar slowly play out in a sad soundscape. Much more about the mood than the song.