Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Thurston Lava Tube - The Thoughtful Sounds Of Bat Smugglingdotdotdotdot
artworkThere some really wonderful tracks here. Alan Jenkins' band has the knack of originality and melody. The Thurston Lava Tube are a highly unique band that produce some very cool and sophisticated instros. There's humor, strong imagery, excellent writing, and some really good playing. I really like this CD.

My only wish is that the unsympathetic mix be replaced. It merely pans organ right and guitar left, often leaving the melody and guitar much less affective than it could be. Some tracks are well mixed, but with such strong material, I believe that it's time for a lot more attention to production.
Picks: Miserlou, Fear Of Bat Smuggling, Bag Territory, Death In Duck Street, Hair And Plants, In The Keeler Gap, The Points, As You Call Them, Will Not Be Changed, Guardian Of The Soul Of Derrek, Space 1752, Tide Of Jam, We'll Gather Lilacs In the Spring Again

Track by Track Review


Miserlou dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A low evil hum and shrill organ swirl bring on a very fun "Miserlou" done at a moderate pace as if it's in a theatre accompanying a silent film, or perhaps playing plaintively at the ice rink. Pure fun.

Fear Of Bat Smuggling dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An interesting blend of surf guitar, a rock beat, and an organ from space. "Fear Of Bat Smuggling" is a fun track with a sort of lightened up "Telstar" feeling that's haunting and reverbed.

Bag Territory dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A playful echoed guitar frolics above a light hearted rhythm track with woodblock percussion and swirling psycho keys. The soft sax in the break adds a sense of suave to the shimmer of the tremolo. "Bag Territory" really grows on you.

Death In Duck Street dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Death In Duck Street" is a soft and tremolo vibrated song with a lovely vision of after hours mischief in silk. Surf and some great tribal drums in the break.

Hair And Plants dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slow song with an almost churchy organ and percussion bells, interrupted by fuzz and robots in the middle to migrate into a carnival psychedelic scene. Eerie and haunted and acid drenched, yet surfy at its core.

In The Keeler Gap dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The melody line to "In The Keeler Gap" is very cool. The keys overpower it some, but its liquidy flow wins out. Mixed with guitar out front, this would be stellar! haunted whistles and reverb splash, and one splendid glissando.

The Points, As You Call Them, Will Not Be Changed dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Points, As You Call Them, Will Not Be Changed" is a slow bluesy number with a beautiful melody and haunting imagery. It is dramatic, emotional, and quite lovely.

Guardian Of The Soul Of Derrek dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This big and dramatic track is very prog in its structure and style, yet the surf guitar's liquid tone keeps it on the coast. There are big fuzz chord passages, gentle guitar and organ washes, often soothing bass, and incredibly cool drums.

Space 1752 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hinting of Space 1999 in places, the beach in other spots, and featuring great drums, "Space 1752" has many changes that create a very engaging, almost jazz-like imagery. It's a very cool track.

Tide Of Jam dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tide Of Jam" is a superb track. It's huge, with big fuzz and drama and psychedelic ambiance. Imagine if Kraan were a surfband that Davie Allan founded. There are elements of Kraut Rock, acid drenched psychedelics, progressive rock, surf, and much more. Amazing!

We'll Gather Lilacs In the Spring Again dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a wistful organ instro with a very light tone. Jazzy chords, surf guitar, and mall organ. Quite fun.