Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Trabants - Highwire Surfingdotdotdot
artworkTwo things... Highwire Surfing is in mono, and there's not much surf here. The style of the bands seems schizophrenic, part surf, mostly rock 'n' roll, and some frat. Quite a bit of it seems derivative of other songs, but you have to have gone pretty far into the library to notice I think. It's a fun CD.
Picks: St. Petersburg Shake, Cinecitta '65, El Dorado, Zubrowka, Rumbler Swing, Berlusconi Shake

Track by Track Review


Highwire Surfing dotdot
Frat (Instrumental)

"Highwire Surfing" begins as a riff rocker, and as the chorus comes in, it apes the Hollywood surf sound. I don't think it's very musical or interesting.

St. Petersburg Shake dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very fun track wit a classic Russian beat and melody, amped by whammy chords and a grin. The melody is mysterious and the beat infectious. Great driving music!

Easy Does It dotdot
Frat (Instrumental)

Fuzz guitar and frat rock chords and arranging. "Easy Does It" is written like the b-sides of so many records in the fifties. The sax break is saucy, while the pre-go-go song lacks interest, except for the drum break. Too jammy for me.

Cinecitta '65 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Cinecitta '65" is a galloping western with feedback and a "Ghost Riders" feel. Great drums, a fine melody, and an interesting sound. It's gritty and fine for driving.

...And The Morning After dotdotdot
Frat (Instrumental)

"...And The Morning After" is a slow moving, modulated number with a romantic melody and eerie sound. Pretty, haunting, but not particularly memorable.

Undercover dotdotdot
Frat (Instrumental)

Spooky melody lines doubled between sax and guitar over a fifties greasy rhythm track create a back ally danger feeling. The drums are right out of Juicy Lucy's "Thinking Of My Life" without the fire.

El Dorado dotdotdot
Frat (Instrumental)

Reverb crashes open this double picked ripper. Down and back up glissandos open the song before a simple melody evolves. Lines similar to a couple of obscuros give it a familiar feeling without making it sound like a cover. Quite nice.

Zubrowka dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Zubrowka" is a light, bouncy number with a fun beat and semi-familiar melody. It's friendly and pretty surfable. It may be derivative, but it's pretty darn fun. Wish I could place the root of this!

Rumbler Swing dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Echoed, muted notes and a fairly British beat romp their way through this fun track. Its sound is not at all surf, but it has some cool things going on.

Swampscott Stomp dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Fuzz and stomp and a gritty Eddie Angel sound. It groans and grinds in a "Rockula" sort of vein. Tuff and grode.

Before The Sun dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Slide guitar slithers in distant ambiance in this slow moving number. It's eerie and moody in a post-pop sort of way.

Berlusconi Shake dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Berlusconi Shake" has a Mediterranean sort of feeling to it, with a modified surf beat. It's much more interesting than I first thought - took time to grow on me. The beat is the most compelling part.

Highwire Walking dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Highwire Walking" is a pretty straight late fifties-early sixties rocker, right down to the Sandy Nelson breaks. A saucy sax break and echoed guitar wraps it up. Fun track.