, Mecca, , Salty Dog, Ginza Ska, Pike">Reverb Central .:. Review .:.
Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Ventures - Chameleondotdot
artworkThis Japanese CD compiles many of the same tracks as the Iloki "Radical Guitars" release. The tracks that are different are mostly more Oriental in style. Only three "picks" here.
Picks: Gold Finger, Theme From No Smoking, Mushuku, Surfin' U. S. S. R., Washington Square, Octopus Tree, , Mecca, , Salty Dog, Ginza Ska, Pike

Track by Track Review

Gold Finger dotdotdot
Elevator Spy (Instrumental)

The guitars are effected to sound almost keyboard like. The backtrack is a lightweight ska thing, and the bass is definitely eighties pop. A thin lead guitar makes it suitable for the K-mart radio network.

Theme From No Smoking dotdot
Eighties Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Surf rhythm guitar, eighties disco keyboard bass, and a warm melody... I can't get behind it.

Mushuku dotdot
Disco (Instrumental)

Cheesy eighties Casio keys and Euro pop bass take this pleasant melody into the realm of MOR/disco.

Surfin' U. S. S. R.
Surf (Instrumental)

"To Russia With Love," not surfed up, and only moderately interesting. Much too MOR for my taste.

Washington Square dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The damped plucking of the second guitar is nifty, and the ska backtrack is cool too. The lead is really thin.

Octopus Tree dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Eighties stilted structure, and almost drum machine percussion. It's rare enough, but otherwise I it doesn't really do much.

MOR Rock (Instrumental)

No Idea what the title is... The track is light and fluffy, playful and very easy... more than MOR, but way less than rock. melodic and friendly.

Mecca dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is not the Gene Pitney hit. It's also very country, and not the least bit middle eastern. Light weight and thin, nonintrusive instro fare.

Country MOR (Instrumental)

This starts out as a nice track. The rhythm guitar is playing a tasty dry damped surf riff ion the intro under a good lead line. Then it all becomes an easy listening country thing, like Jerry McGee is looking for a place to lie down.

Salty Dog dotdotdot
Sideshow (Instrumental)

No, it's not Procol Harum's tune, but it does open with a sound that strongly suggests that band. This is quite Oriental (written by a Japanese person named Kotoh), and has a strange sideshow sound to it.

Ginza Ska dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This delicately echoed number speaks to the Japanese fan base of the Ventures. The melody is oriental in nature, and the ska-like back track gives it a surreal air. Dry tone, and very well done.

Pike dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Organ underpinned, and very eighties sounding, like something out of a Cowboys International daydream. Definitely oriental. It's an oddly intriguing track.