Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The TarantinosNYC - Super Sounds Of The Cinemadotdotdot
artworkThis is an interesting release. There are some really strong tracks, and some that just left me flat. I really like some of the very original arranging, and tracks like "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon," "Fistful Of Reverb," and "Grindhouse" make it worth grabbing.

It's aurally uneven, suffering from significant mixing problems, especially noticeable on headphones, where it is sometimes hard to listen to due to the mix of the keys, though on monitors, they are much less distracting. These are production issues, not performance problems.
Picks: I'm Branded, Naked In Tahiti (With Marlon Brando), The Last Race, The Ecstasy Of Gold, Chick Habit, Haleiwa Sunset, Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon, Fistful Of Reverb, Grindhouse (Theme From)

Track by Track Review

Mr. Wolf dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

Whammy and carnival organ with a circular guitar line, occasional glissandos, and a bit of a go-go spy ethic. When heard on monitors, "Mr. Wolf" works pretty well, but on headphones, the stereo keys are overbearing.

Little Green Bag dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

The main melody line in "Little Green Bag" is derivative of Henry Mancini's "Banzai Pipeline," though arranged quite differently. The rest of the song is original, and the pumping keys carnival like.

I'm Branded dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

This is an unusual treatment of Link Wray and his Wray Men's "I'm Branded." It features gritty guitar tone, but not the guts of the original. The piano is quite nice, and the warbly guitar parts in the middle very cool.

Naked In Tahiti (With Marlon Brando) dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

The semi-ska tropical rhythm guitar is really nice, as are the bass and drums. They produce a fun holiday sound that's very easy to like. The keys take "Naked In Tahiti (With Marlon Brando)" away from tribal into a swirly spyish sound. There are some very nice guitar lines.

The Last Race dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

Jack Nitzsche's song seems and odd choice until you realize how Jack Nitzsche-like the arrangements are on this album. "The Last Race" is pretty darn cool from that perspective. Orchestral and big.

The Ecstasy Of Gold dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

In the opening, the piano gives Enio Morricone's "The Ecstasy Of Gold" a classical feeling, which I like a lot. The acoustic guitar calls to the drama of Mexico. This is a nicely arranged version of this song. Excellent drums and bass.

Monte Carlo Nights dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

"Monte Carlo Nights" is a slightly spyish number with carnival keys. Great whammy cords and annoying keys.

Chick Habit dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

This is really fun. The lead keys are cool and the bass and drums infectious. The guitar plays a minor accent role. While this sort of thing is not usually my thing, this is an exception because arrangement is very original and fun.

Haleiwa Sunset dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

This is a pretty, easy gong track with an island image and really nice sound. The whole thing is quite original front to back.

Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon dotdotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

Excellent piano! This is just too cool! Whammy chords, great drums, rich guitar tone, and simply superb piano. "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" is too fun! I love this.

The Third Hand dotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

While the stereo keys are overbearing at times, "The Third Hand" has a nice melody and and easy gate. I imagine this would be really pleasant mixed differently.

The Lonely Surfer dotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

This is a very lightweight arrangement of Jack Nitzsche's "The Lonely Surfer." It's orchestral in nature via the keys. It's just - well - it doesn't really stand up to repeated listenings very well.

Fistful Of Reverb dotdotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

Enio Morrecone's "A Fistfull Of Dollars" is done very interestingly, with trumpet, big drama, and Spanish flair. This really works well. Great energy and whammy chords, and a subdued grin. The piano rules!

Grindhouse (Theme From) dotdotdotdot
Spy Surf Lounge (Instrumental)

Dark fuzz warble, a heavy gruesome rhythm, and a lumbering pace. This is menacing and dangerous, and must have been to re-imagine. There are some really good guitar grinds, cool feedback, great drama. Unlike the rest of the disc, and just wonderful. Like a dark, slightly subdued Davie Allan.