Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Vampires - Bat Attackdotdotdot
artworkBerlin's Vampires' first release is an excellent foray into mostly original trad with a garagie feel. The writing is pretty good, and the riffology right on. A nice release.
Picks: Bandit, Speedway, Come With Me To The Casbah, Road Runner, Ghost Train, Jungle Rats, Bumble Theme, Mars Attacks, Leopardos, Ace Of Spades, Night Of The Vampires, Batman

Track by Track Review


Bandit dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Horror film organ and crashing thunder opens this set... as it fades away, it's replaced by gunfire and a crunchy ultra twang surf instro. The melody lies somewhere between surf and cowboy twang, with ample reverb and lots of ricochets. It all ends on a big whammy chord.

Speedway dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Very cool damped chord chop, fiery guitaristry, and a fairly traditionally styled riff. "Speedway" sports a feel of the raceway in the days of AA Fuelers before the wheely bar. Not exactly melodic, but chinky and very reverby.

Come With Me To The Casbah dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This fine surf tune sports a traditional middle eastern song in a whole new ultra reverb format. Great surf, chunky reverb rhythm, and a fluid feel. Excellent!

Road Runner dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the Road Runners' "Road Runnah" chunked out and twanged. In this much heavier arrangement, the "Pipeline" rhythm is replaced by a menacing surf rumble. Solid surf.

Ghost Train dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is not the Swanks' classic. It's an eerie original with a slow spooky sound. Very cool.

Jungle Rats dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy chord chunk and wham, evil vermin running wild among the palm fronds... surf and pest control... a novel concept.

Bumble Theme dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Geez... everyone that's covered Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Flight Of The Bumble Bee" has basically yielded to the fuzzy playfulness of the Ventures version. This, on the other hand, is heavy drudge surf, deliberate and dark. Quite different.

Mars Attacks dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A little distortion, a buncho string slides, a nasty sound, and a bit of the old menace. Alien surf for a B&W weekend. The progression is a lot like Barrett Strong's "Money." It grows on you.

Leopardos dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Thick and crunchy, awash in reverb crashed, and based on a Bobby Fuller tune, this is reverb riff surf, rhythm dominated and tribally drummed.

Ace Of Spades dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Link Wray and his Raymen's "Ace Of Spades" gets the ugly in the jungle treatment, as if the Linkster wandered off the trail at Jurassic Park, only to discover guitar sustain in a cave where dwellers crawled diagrams for guitar amps on the walls with red ocher many millennia ago. Primitive, just the way Link likes it.

Night Of The Vampires dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I was hoping for a reverb treatment of Roky Erickson's plaintiff horror tail. Instead, this is a surfization of the Mountrockers tune, with excellent surf credentials. The vibrato is chillingly brisk.

Batman dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Neil Hefty's "Batman" is all decked out in reverb.