Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Torpedoes - Good For The Countrydotdotdot
artworkBrian Pool is Hell-bent on being the fastest man of surf guitar, and the snazziest flashiest dresser behind a Silvertone. Jason Brown is bound for the short-line of bassists capable of playing the lead melody while the guitarist caries off the rhythm, and being the funniest play-his-bass-in-your-face stage/audience practitioner in the business. Brandon Watson is destined for the machine gun hall of fame, with rolling military precision awards. Overstatement? Maybe! Maybe not. Having just seen them for the first time in a few months, I'd say, you see 'em, you'll agree. This is the debut CD from this San Francisco band, who alone occupy the new genre of Submariner Surf. They have recorded 17 instrumental tunes for us, in five basic styles. If ever you had a fancy for skate punk and surf and wondered at the ultimate merger of the two, then you should look no further.
Picks: Manta Ray, The Hornet, Interplanetary, Spanish Main, Nebula 33-7, Green Light, Half Pipe, The Mummy, Midnight Surfer (Ode To Mark Foo), Gyro-scopic Control, Theme From "The Ipcress File" (A Man Alone), Secret Agent In Berlin, The Naked Spur, Stockyard-250, Torpedoe, Tarantula, The Snake, Shorebreak

Track by Track Review

Manta Ray dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Speedier than thou delivery, and progression based sadness over hot coals. A fiery track with an assaultive nature. Short and to the point.

The Hornet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast and rockin', fired off with a ton of energy. Solid rhythmically based number with little melody.

Interplanetary dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a hot and fiery track, with an unusual melody line, and fast dribbling guitar notes. It issues forth all the power required of surf/skate instros, and has an attractive and overpowering sound. The guitar just plain shredz! When Brian Pool drops into the single note break, it's almost scary... wow!

Spanish Main dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine melodic chunky infectious track, with dribbling notes, and a definite Spanish feel. When I first heard them play this live, I was awestruck. It is a fine and powerful tune. What an great track. Their best, I think.

Nebula 33-7 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast and chunky, with a near "Penetration" melody line. It's fast and punkie delivery make it an interesting side-trip from the Pyramids obvious influence. Cool song, despite being quite derivative.

Green Light dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

To paraphrase George Bush, it's a "kinder chunkier" track. Not very melodic, but intense as all get-out, and rhythmic as well.

Half Pipe dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Superfast progression with stop starts, and powerful attack. Not much of a melody line, but hey, it's about as in-your-face as instros get.

The Mummy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A spy-flick progression and a mid tempo delivery create an air of mystery. Fun and ominous. It's almost like a speedier variation on the Memphis Group ethos. Interesting.

Midnight Surfer (Ode To Mark Foo) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This slow song is very sad, almost morose in the beginning. It develops into a mid tempo melancholy mood piece. It has a pleasant melody, and an interesting sound.

Gyro-scopic Control dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rockabilly backbeat, a spy-like progression, and a doubled picked faster than life delivery on the lead line, makes this an unusual track. The notes come to fast to estimate a per-second rate. Nice track.

Theme From "The Ipcress File" (A Man Alone) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like the title says, it's a nice cover of the main theme from the flick. It's chunky, funky, and edgie. Mid tempo, melodic, and unusual.

Secret Agent In Berlin dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dissonant evil doings before the fall of the wall... an ominous progression dealt a twin lead blow for freedom. The unusual sound of the two deliveries is cool.

The Naked Spur dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A nifty number, based on a nice progression over a mid tempo backtrack. It has sorta chicken bop sensibility, a Memphis twang, and a sadness. A nice rack for sure, with a big hall sound.

Stockyard-250 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Fast progression onslaught for the thrashers. Not very memorable.

Torpedoe dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A slower number with an interesting melody line and a textured crunchy sound. There's a certain spy-flick soundtrack quality about the melody line that is quite foreign to the guitar sound, which creates an interesting tension.

Tarantula dotdotdotdot
Surf-n-Skate (Instrumental)

The performance is spirited, and may well be from Summer Surf or a live KFJC show. If it is, however, it's been heavily post produced with muddy results, considering how hot their sound actually is. It's a good track, and Brian Pool's skill at picking is keeping up with his manic pace.

The Snake dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shimmering vibrato makes for a different sound for this band. The melody is a basic progression, but it works really well. The textures are very surfy and very shiny. A fine track.

Shorebreak dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an unusual track. It floats gently in and out in the "Shorebreak." It's infectious, and more than that, it holds your attention. The progression seesm to circle around, and the sound of the surf is everywhere. Fascinating.