Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Urban Surf Kings - Go Instro-MENTAL!dotdotdotdot
artworkFrom Halifax, Nova Scotia come the Urban Surf Kings. They've been together since at least 1997. Go Instro-MENTAL! is their debut CD, and it's a great release. The writing is sophisticated and well developed, the playing superb, and the production excellent. Sonic references on this original CD range from heavy modern Dick Dale to sultry Slacktone. The mark of a great release is whether it sticks in RAM after playing. You'll find this permeating your work day long after you've parked your car. An excellent release.
Picks: Big Surf At Black Point, Seven Faces of Dr. Surf, Espresso Twist, Tango el Rollo, Ray Gun Rampage, Legend of Bog Road, Mojave Hadji, Chicken Pot Pie, Twisted Brain, Paging Omar, Giant Cow, 7 Veils a Go Go, Surf Kings Stomp!, Radarmen From the Moon, Night Flight to Venus

Track by Track Review

Big Surf At Black Point dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This fine instrumental blends rock chords and writing with surf tones and glissandoes for an infectious and rhythmic track. A bit of the spaghetti feel, some watery whammy, a little cowboy twang, a Spanish feel, a surf beat, and a Pacific sunrise all come together here.

Seven Faces of Dr. Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening like "Miserlou," this excellent track flows like an untamed river meeting the shorebreak, turbulent and powerful. Twang and whammy, great double picking, and rock solid power. Very cool track!

Espresso Twist dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Power surge and Cossack shouts, a double picked rampage, and pounding surf drums. Big twang, liquid notes, and a touch of the Eddie Angel sound too. An excellent and fun track.

Tango el Rollo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sultry and suave, this watery tango drips surf with delicate picking and a really nice arrangement. The lightly picked and damped lines, as well as the delicate double picked ones lend an air of evening sophistication to that walk on the beach.

Ray Gun Rampage dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A way cool opener launches into a rolling whammy twango. Delicate lines, power lines, great drums, and a balance of power and fluff. Really good, and it invites you back for more.

Legend of Bog Road dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Out on the edge of town runs Bog Road, where legend tells of a guy who waves to all the passing cars from an overpass crossing highway 101, day or night (at night with a reflective vest on!!!). No one knows his story. The stuff of urban legends is the underlying drive for this liquid cowboy tune. Infectious and rhythmic, with warm tone and an open road feel.

Mojave Hadji dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Exotic faraway places are the backdrop for this desert surf epic. The powerful writing and excellent arranging conspire to present a dramatic and effective piece. Serious, artful, and very sophisticated.

Chicken Pot Pie dotdotdot
Chicken Bop (Instrumental)

Chicken pickin' barnyard twang delivered in a Los Straitjackets format with power, fun, and a yee-haw feel. very cool.

Twisted Brain dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Behind that black and white celluloid lies a chunky rhythmic twangster. Well developed and infectious, this slightly intellectual number exercises your cerebellum and your arteries. Fiery glissandoes and pumped percussion.

Paging Omar dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate guitar work, a fluid melody in a Spanish vein, placed over a well developed beat. Dramatic, delicate, pretty, and interesting.

Giant Cow dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great drums and big guitar twang. A very nice melody. Again, a second guitar is needed. Still, it's the best track on the demo, especially the ska bridge. Very cool song.

7 Veils a Go Go dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Middle eastern oasis scenes leak from every corner of the tent as "7 Veils a Go Go" floats across the sands. The choppy break counters the desert air with a mechanized urban feel. Great percussion counters the guitar lines. Very cool.

Surf Kings Stomp! dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With low-E power and a feel that skirts the edges of "The Wedge," this track prances across the curl dodging every impending wipe out. "Surf Kings Stomp!" borrows liberally from various surf classics, but does so without losing its own identity. Nice track.

Radarmen From the Moon dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little like a Slacktone art piece, the intro to "Radarmen From the Moon" quickly launches into a fiery and raging guitar onslaught supported by powerful drums and thundering bass. Hot is an understatement. The weirdness of the thereminic vocalizing is most intoxicating.

Night Flight to Venus dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Night Flight to Venus" moves slowly through its parts with a slow and shimmering gate. Its a little pompous, and quite floaty.