Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Vista IV - Killer Wavesdotdotdot
artworkLas Vegas' Vista IV have been around for a while, but until now, only demos have surfaced. This 2006 release shows excellent writing and playing, and very good arranging skills as well. What is unfortunate is that the mix really doesn't do this fine band justice. This album really needs to be remixed to get it's full potential. Musically, I love this CD.
Picks: Tsunami Mommie, The Ballad Of Nansy Lou, Mystical Abyss, Maliboo Longboard, Summer, Ocean West, Agent X (The Ex), The Man In The Grey Suit (The Shark), Rip Tide, Barracuda Bay, Go Go Yubari: On The Tokyo Beach

Track by Track Review


Tsunami Mommie dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Tsunami Mommie" is a spunky number with its playful melody as it's main feature. More than fun, it's vibrant and engaging, and carries you along on that giant wave.

The Ballad Of Nansy Lou dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slightly sad in the opening, but once the keys and surf guitar bounce in, "The Ballad Of Nansy Lou" changes to an infectious adventure on summer surf. Feathery light and friendly, it requires a grin.

Mystical Abyss dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mystical Abyss" reminds me a lot of Rare Bird's "Beautiful Scarlet" in its tonality and structure. Poppy and infectious and warm, the song brought me back several times. All four players hit the nail on the head. The semi-ska break is very cool too.

Maliboo Longboard dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A grand surf-ska rhythm and whistling organ melody trades off with a more traditional surf jam sound verse to verse. "Maliboo Longboard" is a splendid track with lots to get you grinning.

Summer dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Summer" is as light and warm as its title suggests. A beautiful melody floats on a warm breeze bringing images of warm sand and wahines. Very cool.

Ocean West dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a cool melody and rhythm section idea. "Ocean West" is catchy and fluid, with an excellent balance between keys and guitar.

Agent X (The Ex) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There's more in common with go-go than surf structurally, but "Agent X (The Ex)" is all surf aurally. The keys overbear at times, but the melody line is infectious and fun.

The Man In The Grey Suit (The Shark) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Lovely surf chords launch this light and slightly sad song. The glorious keyboard tone is all "Riders On The Storm" (Doors) ringing, overshadowing everything else here. Haunting and very pretty.

Rip Tide dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Rip Tide" is a rippin' surf number with a solid melody line and excellent arranging. The mix kinda hides the melody, but the writing and performance sure is fine!

Barracuda Bay dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The piano rings in cycles before the dribbling surf guitar comes raining in. "Barracuda Bay" is a happy song with a very uplifting melody. Lots of potential here.

Go Go Yubari: On The Tokyo Beach dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rockin' drums, double picked bumble bee guitar, and a ton of energy in the performance. A more sympathetic mix would make this a monster.