Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The TakeOffs - Blue Avalanchedotdotdotdot
artworkBlue Avalanche is a fine first offering from Kauai's TakeOffs. A small number of nicely done covers among some very good originals. Mixed with a slightly garage edge, and very consistently, the album holds attention throughout. Strong writing and playing, and excellent arranging.
Picks: Pressure, Blue Avalanche, Mosquito Bay, Goofy Foot, Colin's Wave, Avila, Pier Pressure, Gone Surfin', No Can Tells, Scrubbed At Middles

Track by Track Review

Pressure dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Echoed guitar plays a fine cover of The Pyramids' "Pressure," with some nice whammy and subdued muted rhythm guitar, plus well done bass and drums. This is very satisfying.

Blue Avalanche dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A splendid and friendly melody over a light hearted rhythm section really brings warmth. "Blue Avalanche" has the requisite groove and memorable melody riff to elevate it above the fray. Very nice!

Mosquito Bay dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Double picked lead plays against superb rhythm lines and chords for an infectious and upbeat surf number. "Mosquito Bay" would do very nicely with the top down on a sunny afternoon. It really hooks you in, with its fine arrangement and very easy to like sound. Adventurous and engaging.

Goofy Foot dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal tom toms bring on a song only mildly inspired by Lively Ones' "Goofy Foot," but also quite original. Solid energy and adventure, with warm tone and cool drums.

Colin's Wave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very richly written song with a fine arrangement and spunky drums. I started out thinking this was just OK, but within a verse or so, I was hooked. "Colin's Wave" features splendid playing and writing.

Avila dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Whammy chords and a bit of quiet drama in a kind of European-Mediterranean vein. Gentle ska rhythm guitar and moody bass add to the watery chords. Pretty cool.

Pier Pressure dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pier Pressure" have captured a very nice cover of Teisco Del Rey's "Pier Pressure." It's infectious and playful, and features excellent tone.

Only The Young dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty version of The Champs' "Only The Young." Jimmy Seals wrote this, and The TakeOffs stay very close to his intent. Quite nice.

Diamonds dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fun cover of Jerry Lordan's "Diamonds" made famous by Jet Harris and Tony Meehan. It's rich, but fairly low key. Some nice slides and whammy chords.

Gone Surfin' dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lots of shimmering tremolo, glissandos, and a playful melody and rhythm interplay. "Gone Surfin'" is engaging and fun, with a sense of optimism and glassy water.

Rifle Range dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An original riff is the basis of "Rifle Range," but it seems to me to be a bit stiff until the breaks come along. Maybe its arrangement not quite fleshed out - I don't know. It's certainly interesting and engaging.

No Can Tells dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shimmering chords and cool drums deliver an interesting take on Herbie Mann's "Comin' Home Baby" with a very different break. Smooth and friendly. There are but a few covers of this song in the surf idiom.

Scrubbed At Middles dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Muted reverb guitar and grumbling tom toms, stinging whammy, thumpy bass, and a spy lead riff delivered with slightly disturbed tone. "Scrubbed At Middles" has a cool and dangerous sound.

Hawaii Five-O dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Morton Stevens' TV theme has been done a billion times, though seldom by Hawaiian bands (on record at least). Bongos add spice. This is the least interesting track on the disc.