Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Robin Sylar - Bust Outdotdot
artworkThis is billed as modern blues, and while that's generally true of the vocals, the instros seem not of this release. Samples are bad enough in lo-fi, but with the blues... and then when they are badly edited... well, I think you can pass on this and miss nothing.
Picks: Bust Out, Scratchy, Double Dip, Steel Trap, Wild Angels, Flashback

Track by Track Review


Bust Out dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Robin Sylar opens his CD with his version of the Northern Lights' "Typhoid," which is titles for the reissue hit (the Busters "Bust Out"). It's intense dry edge compressed guitar over a rockabilly backbeat. The "modern" blues tone and commercial focus, while expressing energy, miss the target. What was written for high energy double picking and tom toms ends up like a blues jam. OK, but a far cry from cool, no matter how many times he cries "yeah yeah yeah" out of self-impressed joy. Generally, the sound is kinda ambient.

Scratchy dotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Travis Wammack's "Scratchy" just isn't the same without his thin hyper-fuzz guitar. Still, the semi-Latin percussion and rounder guitar tone do change the character of the track such that it is a cool listen. It's pretty bluesy, and sports a cooled down optimism (as compared to the original). The instant stop-transition into the bagpipes and the bad edit coming out of them takes it out of the running. It's not just an uncomfortable and poorly executed transition, but the amateur editing is just too bad to let slide. And then there's the song-end splice to stylus dragging across the disc and dropping onto the right of spring. Gimme a break! It's neither funny nor well done.

Double Dip dot
Blues (Instrumental)

"Double Dip" is a lumbering jam with extra percussion on the right. It circumnavigates its own parameters.

Steel Trap dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

One would hope for some steel guitar with a title like "Steel Trap," but alas it's just a riff rock number. Some tasteful vibrato and interesting guitar tones, and a cool beat.

Wild Angels dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Sylar does a spirit-free straight cover of Davie Allan and the Arrows' "Wild Angels" without giving credit and without paying his royalties (according to Davie). Aside from a moderately interesting bass and drum solo break (though it never varies, like the guitar was silenced and the backtrack was left untended. It's OK, even serviceable, just not inspired, especially when compared to any of the Davie Allan versions. The drawn out semi-psycho EchoPlex ending is pretty cool, until the tape is just cut to end it.

Flashback dot
Blues (Instrumental)

Coppers pass overhead and come back repeatedly throughout this otherwise typical blues progression. Even the machine guns don't lift the jamminess outta the mire and into song-hood. There are some twisted guitar tones at times, but it's much more like a drunken afternoon in a bar while a war rages outside than a song. At around 4 minutes, it drops into a Fillmore-ish beat and solo feedback with sampled bad-language complaining by some moron. This goes on for more than 3 minutes before the music drops out and the guy grumbles his final gripe, leaving only the choppers. Then, some senseless crowd noise comes in and fades out quickly into a couple of lock-groove clicks. Entirely too long and pointless.