Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Torquays - Road Tripdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is the second effort from Steve Soest's band the Torquays. It's a much improved sound, more developed and very enjoyable. Some these tracks will endure for years to come. An excellent release.
Picks: Pit Stop, Hodad Holiday, The Wedge, Wig-Wham, Ding, Instant Bull, Voyage Around The Moon, Rip Curl, Mr. Moto, Sunset Cruise, Splash Zone, Baja, 365 Day Weekend, Dumbo, El Baile de Los Chupacabras, Johnny Cochino, Trilobite, Atlantis

Track by Track Review

Pit Stop dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Sampled speedway sounds introduce this twango deluxe tune. Its rich tone and basic riff over the solid drums and bass deliver a hot rod pounder. Drummer-guitarist Duff Paulsen wrote this.

Hodad Holiday dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a great title, and an even better track. This delightful piece of writing and excellent playing drips summer adventure. Playful and delicate, and maybe hinting slightly at a cross between Richie Podolor and Pete Curry. Like a spunked up Fireballs, this gives forth with damped surf joy. It goes so well during a top down drive in the country. This is written by S. Wright and B. Mytkowicz.

The Wedge dotdotdotdot
Surf Ska (Instrumental)

Dick Dale's classic, arranged over a cool ska riff and played with delicacy replacing volume. It's a very cool reverb celebration, "A Run For Life" so to speak. This often covered tune doesn't usually get a fresh treatment, but the Torquays have made it their own with a new look and feel. Excellent.

Wig-Wham dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Vibrato, Indian beats, and surf shimmer... it's an unbeatable combination. The shimmer of the guitar magnetically attracts you as you the ringing tone reels out. Very nice indeed! Written by S. Wright and B. Mytkowicz.

Ding dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Those pesky dents in the surfboard are the theme for this pure trad number. The damped reverbed second guitar, the glissandoes, the open road feel, the long rides in the warm SoCal summer sun... it's all here. A perfect surf epic. Pete Curry's impeccable writing is perfectly displayed here.

Instant Bull dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A long over due retitling of "Istanbul" open with that cute little Arab thingy, then rolls with great fun throughout. Just about as cool as they come.

Voyage Around The Moon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Space surf deluxe, with damped second guitar, and rumbling tribal thunder. Cool thundering glissandoes, and Indian whammy. An excellent surf cruiser. Written by T. Hawks, G. Goetzman and M Piccirillo.

Rip Curl dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This light hearted number is a little reminiscent of the Evasions. It's a bouncy and infectious summer surf tune with a fine classic riff and very good playing. Written by B. Mytkowicz.

Mr. Moto dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The boys do a tasty version of the Belairs' "Mr. Moto" in a very trad style. The tone is pretty dry, as Paul Johnson would have had it then. Unassuming and honest, this is very reverent and perfectly laid down.

Sunset Cruise dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Duff Paulsen wrote this bouncy evening respite from a day on the waves. It has a playful party feel, a light hearted and catchy melody, and plenty of the requisite twang. The twin lead verse (one very low under the other) is very nifty.

Splash Zone dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Soest's song of the rhythmic juncture between sea and shore. It pounds, it shreds, it prances, and it plays. The beat, the riffs, the ambiance is just too cool. The steel riffs from Gary Morse add a touch of the South Seas. Dig it!

Baja dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Al Casey' "Baja" is given the ultra reverb treatment, like a restrained Astronauts' interpretation. Not as restrained as the Breakaways, but in the same delicate place. This song is very flexible, making a great vehicle for a surf assault and a delicate pristine surf shimmer. This is gloriously enjoyable.

365 Day Weekend dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve's Soest's ode to eternal surf and sand. It laughs with Mexican fiesta warmth and exotic percussion. Happy and carefree, as any self respecting "365 Day Weekend" should be. Playful and bouncy.

Dumbo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

George Tomsco's "Dumbo" is a perfect inclusion in the set of a band with the precision and delicacy of the Fireballs. The Torquays have backed Tomsco on occasion, and it must have been a perfect scene judging from this. Every note exactly right. Excellent!

El Baile de Los Chupacabras dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Steve Soest's ode to the mythical night creatures of Latin America. Tribal drums, jungle bird calls, and a low-E guitar line reminiscent of Love's "Emotions" combine to deliver a really groovy forbidden faraway place tune. Slightly dangerous, with vibrato throb and tribal urges. Very cool. Some Hollywood type ought to place this in the opening credits of a jungle adventure film.

Johnny Cochino dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Kid Ramos' bluesy guitar shows inspiration from Paul Johnson's bluesier side a la tunes like "Duck Waddle," only smoother and less funky. Nice track.

Trilobite dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This band composition whammies and swirls with a warm and inland feel. The picking is clean and precise, and the track has an overall feel of restrained power.

Atlantis dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Shadows' "Atlantis" is augmented with the sweet steel of Gary Morse. It adds a Hawaiian feel to Jerry Lordan's great tune. Very well arranged with a Euro-Pacific sound. Quite soothing and cool.