Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Swiv-O-Matics - Charm City Surferdotdotdotdot
artworkMy goodness, have the Swiv-O-Matics ever grown! This is a very well developed set of new music from a band that refuses to recognize the boundaries of genre labels. Exceptional and unique material here, not from main street, but from the outskirts of town, where the suburbs meet the woods at the edge of the continent. Great stuff!
Picks: Charm City Surfer, Innocent Lee, The Woman In Skin 13, Semi Loads From Mexico, (She Came From) Planet Stripper, Neckbone, Wahoni, Elekicity, Hag In A Black Leather Jacket, Scott, Stairway To Hampden, Swiv Winter, Dundalk, France, Journey Of The Drawer

Track by Track Review

Charm City Surfer dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Well, this is quite a grand CD opener! Great drums, rumblin' bass, and two fine guitars playing an infectious riff off each other with precision. Big whammy, shorebreak, and a very friendly sound.

Innocent Lee dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Innocent Lee" is in a spy mode, with a bit of quirk and keyboard suave. Vibrato throb shimmers while the trench-coated shadow-lurkers plot and scheme.

The Woman In Skin 13 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Vibrato shimmer and whammy cord warmth mark this surf journey. "The Woman In Skin 13" is both fluid and angular, with a deliberate island charm and a sense of misadventure.

Semi Loads From Mexico dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A soft vibrato shimmer oozes a warm Mexican afternoon. This very pretty song is quite captivating. There's a gentle flow and a sense of seaside travel. "Semi Loads From Mexico" has a bit of an evening coolness to it, yet is like a relaxed suntan in progress on a forgotten Baja beach. Very cool!

(She Came From) Planet Stripper dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Traditional surf underpinnings mixed with fuzz and vapor charm, like a tuff variation on the idea that Les Black Carnations exploited in "Echo Flower Blues." This is a great surf adventure, with reverbed fuzz and vibrato exclamations. Very cool!

Neckbone dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Whammy chords dramatically pour from a big guitar sound. On the thick side, and chorded for the surf, "Neckbone" is a little like a surfified Link Wray song. Cool track.

Wahoni dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Throbbing stereo delayed vibrato delivers a stilted melody with thick textures and warbly edge. "Wahoni" is a pretty interesting song with a slight espionage feel.

Elekicity dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a bouncy track with a slightly Los Straitjackets on the bus with the Ventures sound. Big chords and shorebreak whammy, with loud drama.

Hag In A Black Leather Jacket dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A catchy, punchy thump and a very cool rhythm underpin "Hag In A Black Leather Jacket." It's a most unusual track with a fascinatingly simple riff driven by the highly unique arrangement. Yikes!

Scott dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Danger on the shore as a storm lurks just beyond the outsiders. The vibes-keys create a "Riders On the Storm" reference while the great drums and bass grumble gnarl the inbound weather front. very cool!

Stairway To Hampden dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a bit of the Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet drama, the Swiv-O-Matics make this song into an angular and dangerous event. With big sound and almost military drama, "Stairway To Hampden" rises like an inbound storm surge.

Swiv Winter dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow edgy vibrato shimmer and a moody bass line call from a dangerous corner of the shoreline, where the docks are empty late at night, and safety is just out of reach. Moody and throbbing with anticipation of the unseen.

Dundalk, France dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Swirling evil lurks in the narrow roads of "Dundalk, France." Not much of a song - more like a scene setter. It crosses right into "Journey Of The Drawer."

Journey Of The Drawer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

More like earlier works, "Journey Of The Drawer" is a pumping relentless progression with tuff drums and effects. Psy-fi weirdness and uneasy doings.