Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Subversivo - S/Tdotdotdotdot
artworkSubversivo is a highly original band from Athens, Georgia. They aren't the least bit like the Athens sound of the eighties. Surf, space, and wonderful soundscapes coexist in this highly engaging music. It's not at all for the purist, but if you like adventure and surf and space rock, you just might really like this. The last song on the disc, "Sex Slaves Of The Devil Swine," is a vocal that is heavy with darkness and edge, evil sax swirling, and death chunk guitar chords, and some great surf guitar lines. If Nik Turner were angry and played-sang about surf, it might be a little like this.
Picks: Hezballa, Satellite Failure, Don No More, HSG, Eye Am The Arm, Los Dorados, Paging Mr. Herman, Ebb Tide Suicide, The Rise And Fall Of God's Army, Uaxactun / Interlude

Track by Track Review

Hezballa dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As you might imagine from the title, "Hezballa" is based in Middle Eastern musical references. It also has a psychedelic strangitude about it via the horn and wah wah. Mysterious and compelling, with exotic changes and near-ska Klezmer inversions. Very cool!

Satellite Failure dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Electro tweaked and fast double picked, "Satellite Failure" rages with heavy bass and infectious chords. This is a very strong track with a solid melody and a lot of energy.

Don No More dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I don't know what the title means, but "Don No More" is more of a heavy progressive wash of space rock kind of psycho-acoustic adventure than a surf instro. Wonderful changes and a thick sense of atmosphere. Dark and cold, like Hawkwind in search of space surf!

HSG dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"HSG" is a flippant number with an almost silly edge. Its playful nature is a romp through the imagination.

Eye Am The Arm dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Eye Am The Arm" has a Middle Eastern flavor, a thick honkin' lead line, and a lot of energy. The sand and Bedouin camp scenes ooze from every line, and the echoed ska-reggae-like guitar work just adds more color. Some of the squonkin' sax lines remind me of Nik Turner.

Los Dorados dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Los Dorados" is a very surfy instro with a fine melody line and beautiful tone. Tweaky, yet not gimmicky, sultry and moody, yet shimmering with the quieting surf after a storm has passed. Great track!

Paging Mr. Herman dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A funky track with an R&B feel and dark rock sensibilities, and some reminiscences of David Axelrod (The Auction) or Osibisa. More a rhythmic workout than a melodic song, but likely very infectious live.

Ebb Tide Suicide dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soft and moody, with shimmering vibrato and a fine surf melody line, "Ebb Tide Suicide" paints a picture of a softly rolling sea under cloudy skies. There's a sense of sadness, yet as is the case with surf instros, there is also a sense of optimism. Wonderful!

The Rise And Fall Of God's Army dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Long notes gently subside amid reverb and vibrato while the keys provide a holy edge. Once into the song, the delicate circulation of the chord notes delight the ears. Just as you think all is well, the dark chunk and grind of death metal and space rock tweakage darkens your daydream. A fast double picked space surf rampage ensues after the darkness lifts. Again the scenes change and pass through more light and dark. Quite an undertaking, and very compelling.

Uaxactun / Interlude dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Uaxactun" is a rockin' and engaging surf funk extravaganza with an infectious sound and fury. Totally engaging. "Interlude" is, well, an interlude. More about tone and feeling than song.