Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Torquays - Somewhere In Californiadotdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is an amazingly consistent and very listenable CD. The writing and arranging are top notch, and the whole thing just works right in to your brain. The Torquays have really done it this time out. 19 wonderful tracks, each a capsule of reverb and style, and every one completely developed. Great CD, highly recommended.
Picks: Speedboat, Milagro Del Mar, The Board In The Stone, Jamaican Me Crazy, The Pike, Wailea, Undertow, The Mark Of Zippo, Shadowcaster, The Surf Remains The Same, Rescue At Mavericks, Shamrock Bay, 9 Miles To Stuckey's, Attack Of The Flying Squirrels, Shoreline Serenade, Roswell Rodeo, Weekday 180, Overdrawn At Cortes Bank, Paula Ku' U-Ipo

Track by Track Review


Speedboat dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Speedboat" has a gentle splashy feel, with a very smooth melody line and great whammy chords. The rich tone and infectious tempo keep it interesting, as does the writing, which reminds me just a little of the Pete Curry's work.

Milagro Del Mar dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Deep vibrato throbs an introduction to a catchy and infectious song. Whammy chords separate sections of "Milagro Del Mar," which are each played out in different octaves and styles to keep this fine instro fresh at every turn. Very well arranged and refreshingly bright.

The Board In The Stone dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great title, ominous backtrack, bright surf guitar... and that's just the intro. A liquid and slightly sad melody line is brightly splashed above a solid surf rhythm track. It's infectious, gently aggressive, friendly, tribal, and very well developed.

Jamaican Me Crazy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An funnin' title does not mean a gimmicky song. "Jamaican Me Crazy" has a touch of the tropics for sure, and a ska rhythm guitar over rock solid bass and drums, and the guitar sparkles with sunny enthusiasm. This is just plain cool.

The Pike dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damped reverbed guitar bridges between verses of the circular melody. It's not traditionally supported with a surf beat, though it's there in places. "The Pike" is fresh and rich, and features plenty of variations verse to verse. The longer you listen, the more it just seems natural. Excellent and unique surf instro.

Wailea dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An almost ukulele rhythm guitar plays alongside lap steel, gently providing an island adventure backdrop to glorious liquid tropical surf guitar. Bass and drums quietly support, giving this a gentle and sunny disposition that will take you to the islands of your dreams.

Undertow dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ominous in a quiet danger kind of way, the drama gradually builds until the dribbling glissando transitions into the main body of the song. "Undertow" rips and rumbles, lurking to take you out beyond the breakwater when you least expect it. Very cool track.

The Mark Of Zippo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A catchy rhythm track makes you wanna move, while a fluid lead guitar plays a circulating meander line. Exceptionally well arranged and written. Every note seems like it was born where it's used - in other words, the melody line seems very natural.

Shadowcaster dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Acoustic rhythm guitar and soft bass and drums support a melody line that's Shadows inspired. Pretty and smooth, with a soft lush sound.

The Surf Remains The Same dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a rich and traditionally structured surf instro. All the right reverb and guitarisms, an Atlantics style rhythm track, and an infectious sound. Excellent and very cool.

Rescue At Mavericks dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thunder and plunder at Mavericks, where the walls can be ten times your height. The rumble below portrays the awesome power and danger of the waves there, while the optimistic melody line gives you the sense daredevil that big wave riders must have. "Rescue At Mavericks" has an element of suspense about it, inspired by an in progress rescue of a rider who got in over his head. Brilliant track!

Shamrock Bay dotdotdotdot
Irish Surf (Instrumental)

Irish fiddles and beat sound for all the world to be what would have happened if Fairport Convention had grown at Dana Point. It's an Irish reel with the feel of shorebreak. Totally fun and infectious.

9 Miles To Stuckey's dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little Spanish, a touch whimsical, fluidly circular, and with undulating sensuality. "9 Miles To Stuckey's" is a round and semi-soft number with a very friendly sound.

Attack Of The Flying Squirrels dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

They're comin' in from all around you, plunging from the overhead foliage with arms and legs outstretched. "Attack Of The Flying Squirrels" is playful, perhaps like something from the Mighty Mighty Squirrels if they'd ever had a serious bone in their body. A little quirky, and definitely unique.

Shoreline Serenade dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Shoreline Serenade" is a soft and flowing after dark tune with a warm and encounter-driven melody line.

Roswell Rodeo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Crickets chirp, broken by the crash of a distant craft. It's 1947, Roswell. New Mexico. Suddenly little gray men are riding boards at San Onofre. It's a sight to see. Slightly spooky, and a little distant, "Roswell Rodeo" makes you wonder if your neighbor is just strange, or perhaps something more. Catchy and fun.

Weekday 180 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Weekday 180" sports an infectious riff, reverbed and damped, which is self resolving and circular. Bouncy and more or less traditional, it's friendly and well developed.

Overdrawn At Cortes Bank dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Funny title. Cortes Bank is no place to in over your head. Beautifully liquid, "Overdrawn At Cortes Bank" conjures a sense of large swells optimistically ridden. The high adventure of the song perhaps suggests a less chunky Woodies tune in structure, though there's no doubt it's the Torquays. Very good track.

Paula Ku' U-Ipo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal rhythms support exotic guitar lines that present an image of veils and finger cymbals on a Baja California beach around a campfire. "Paula Ku' U-Ipo" is a song that sucks you in. The blend of ideas and sounds is very impressive.