Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Treblemakers - S/Tdotdotdot
artworkA really hot Canadian surf instro band with a very trad sound, except for the mid sixties organ. Originals are mostly well written and arranged. The performance on most tracks is very good, and the album over all is solid. I was expecting something less just because I knew it was a low budget issue, which usually means bad performances masked by cheap[ vinyl. Not so here. The band is very good. I enjoyed listening, despite the limitations. I general, the guitar work is excellent, as is the drumming, and the bass is spot-on. The keys bother me a lot. Perhaps a more piano-like sound or something would help. The album is recorded crudely, but in most cases it works ok, in others, the life is sapped out of what sound to be really solid performances. It would probably be better on CD, which I would hope happens one day. It's a good collection of tracks. In many ways, it's like the Surf Creatures, both in texture and performance, and in what lies under the recording. It's not lo-fi crap, it's just too ambient, and some tracks are too reverby, losing the clarity of the playing. I don't mean this to be a no vote, not by any means. I like the album, and I recommend (four star gotta have it factor) it to anyone using vinyl, and I'd bet they rip live. Just my opinion, mind you.
Picks: Lawnmower Drag, Alcoholocaust, Everybody Up!, General Tao's Chicken Run, Mauna Loa, Surfari, The Squid, The Man In Beige, Moment Of Truth, The Grudge, Marijuanathon, The Victor, Padded Wagon, The Nabob Of Bandhipur, Road To Rincon

Track by Track Review

Lawnmower Drag dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great rhythm and cool melody, simple but catchy. The keys are subdued, which is good. The trouble with mid sixties keyboard sounds is that they can quickly overwhelm reverbed guitar. They work well against fuzz, but not reverb.

Alcoholocaust dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The jungle toms and reverb-heavy guitar totally thrill in that wonderful tribal way. A big track.

Everybody Up! dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Solid performance, second guitar would be better served up dry, and the ambiance and over all reverb saps the life out of what is otherwise a very solid performance of the Fender Four single. I like it a lot, despite the aural limitations.

General Tao's Chicken Run dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

An organ lead tune, sort of Boss Martians sounding. Not too interesting, and too much organ for my taste.

Mauna Loa dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mid tempo tune with whammy chords simulating that Polynesian thing. The toms are cool. The break is almost note-for-note "Rip Tide," which works well with the melody.

Surfari dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Too ambient/reverby. The energy is lost. Otherwise a nice rendition of the Original Surfaris tune.

The Squid dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A great tune - nice simple melody and rhythm. The keys mirror the lead guitar, burying it. Love the writing, hate the organ. Imagine if it was a piano.

The Man In Beige dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Spaghetti leisure suit music - very nice track!

Moment Of Truth dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mid tempo number with the lead guitar lost in the mix and the keys in the way of stretching to hear the guitar. The performance and writing are fine.

The Grudge dotdotdot
Garage Surf (Instrumental)

A great band recorded ambiently with PZM's, or so it sounds. Too bad, because the performance is great. For $50, they coulda recorded it properly. I hope a CD is coming soon. They are a good band from what I can tell, and they seem to have a buzz beginning.

Marijuanathon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Great track, melodic and intense!

The Victor dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A soft spoken version of this tune - the drums are great.

Padded Wagon dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Pleasant, but not too remarkable.

The Nabob Of Bandhipur dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great title! Cool drums, mysterious, melodic, and infectious.

Road To Rincon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the first cover of this tune I can recall. Quite different. It is without Dave Myers' precision, but with flair and energy. Big guitar chords substitute for the sax honks. Effective. A really good track.