Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Vice Barons - Rariteasedot
Ye olde vinyl compiled for the newbees and punters too. All previously released on 7 inch between '93 and '94. Mostly, the sound sucks, but the performances are spirited. In general, the highs are mostly gone, compensated for the way small studios with noisy tape machines used to by overdubbing tambourine to hide the generational loss of the cymbals. This band is much more a garage band than much of a surf band. The music is mostly organ based, owing much to Pacific Northwest [PNW] instros and the fuzz pedal. I hate to say it, but strike one is the lo-fi ethic, which has ruined what could have been passable from a band that's energetic. Strike two is the almost total lack of melody, and strike three is the disappointment felt upon hearing all this mediocre work from a much trumpeted (by the lo-fi contingent) band. They'll all hate me now, but boring songs are boring songs, and bad sound is band sound. Sorry folks.
Picks: Swamp Surfer, Buzz, Radiant, Death Walk Of Frankie Stein, Interstellar 69, Bikini Point, Teenage Furboxx, Five Eyes On You, Surfin' Dutchman, Born Liar, Whip Lust, Skaterdater Rock, Shape Of Things To Come, Street Action, Another Cycle In Detroit, Doctor Love, Starlight Motel, California Sun, Arrowheads, No F***, No Ride, Restless, Palisades Park, The Cape, Sweet Sam, Sweet Sam (bed - not listed)

Track by Track Review


Swamp Surfer dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Organ based late fifties PNW tune that just noodles around. The mix is period and boring.

Buzz dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Organ with fuzz guitar, and more uninteresting PNW style.

Radiant dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Guitar lead that nearly has a melody.

Death Walk Of Frankie Stein dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Guitar lead tune all whammied out with the keys way too big, sorta surfy but not.

Interstellar 69 dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Fuzz with no direction.

Bikini Point dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Fuzz with no direction, and the "Wipe Out" drum breaks don't fit. I asked my secretary what she thought, and she said "the organ is way too big" (really!).

Teenage Furboxx dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

After the first bar of this PNW organ / fuzz, boredom sets in.

Five Eyes On You dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

"Stand Back," and then... nothing.

Surfin' Dutchman dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

A surf guitar, an organ, and a promise undelivered.

Born Liar dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Yet more fuzz / organ progressions without benefit of melody or hooks.

Whip Lust dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Over a fifties instro bed, the wanna be "Wipe Out" guitar lines are lost.

Skaterdater Rock dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

The drum kit is a block away. This is Davie Allan's tune. It's a really crap recording. I didn't think it was possible to make Davie's tunes boring.

Shape Of Things To Come dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

and again... Davie's work done in a most unflattering way.

Street Action dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

and again...

Another Cycle In Detroit dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

and again...

Doctor Love dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

A sorta low down and dirty Los Straitjackets styled thing.

Starlight Motel dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

And now, for something completely different... directionless... sorry...I was fantasizing.

California Sun dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

The songs OK, might even be cool, but the recording is really bad. Too many covers already...

Arrowheads dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Yeah yeah.

No F***, No Ride dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Yeah yeah. Let's show our intellect.

Restless dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Kinda cool & enough of a lead to be a good song, but the sound...

Palisades Park dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Cheesy cover... coulda been cool but...

The Cape dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Organ dominated and boring, like "Swamp Surfer" part 2.

Sweet Sam dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

Reminds me of 45 Grave's "Surf Bat" sorta...

Sweet Sam (bed - not listed) dotdot
PNW Organ Fuzz (Instrumental)

yeah, right.