Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Von Hodads - MySpace.comdotdotdot
artworkThese demos were cut for MySpace distribution. There are some splendid works in progress here. While not completely fleshed out with perfect playing, they clearly show a band with a sense of the surf and an ear for less often exposed covers. One guitar left, one right obscures the focus that should be on the lead guitar, but otherwise, this is s nice set of tracks.
Picks: Out Of Limits, Soul Surfer, The North Shore, Water Skiing, Perfidia, Shindig, Beyond, Diamond Head, On The Beach, The Spur

Track by Track Review


Out Of Limits dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very traditional cover of Mike Gordon's "Out Of Limits," though with significantly cooler tone. Paced correctly and slightly moody, it's very pleasurable and smooth.

Soul Surfer dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The second guitar is opposite the lead guitar (right vs. left) and playing with a dark, almost six string bass like tone. It detracts a bit from the focus, except when shimmering with tremolo throb. Johnny Sudetta is an often overlooked writer and player, and his songs deserve more attention. Glad to hear this track.

The North Shore dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This original is quite charming, with tremolo shimmer and a solid melody line. It's style is reminiscent of latter-day Sandals. Rich and very nicely constructed, "The North Shore" is a splendid instro that bears repeated listenings.

Water Skiing dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's not often that bands go beyond a couple of Duane Eddy's chart hits. "Water Skiing" is a fun track that borrows from Paul Johnson and sport Duane's usual Southern charm. This reverbed treatment is fun and light hearted, and is a mighty good listen.

Perfidia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rich and delicate introduction brings on Alberto Dominguez' classic "Perfidia" in an arrangement that isn't just a copy of the Ventures' single, which is usually the case. The original arrangement is refreshing and very easy on the ears.

Shindig dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Shadows' single is much more surf than the original, or perhaps more as if Los Straitjackets whacked it out. Very smooth and cool.

Beyond dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another pick of seldom covered surf classics, "Beyond" is simply arranged. A couple of performance flaws tell you it's a demo, but otherwise, this is a very nice take on one of the main instros from the Chantays' second album.

Diamond Head dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

On the more common side, there are a billion covers of Danny Hamilton's "Diamond Head." This is less reverby than the Ventures and more round than many covers. Tastefully done.

On The Beach dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dissonant very high notes lurk in the murk as the spy rhythm takes over. Great chocking string slides and swipes give dangerous edge to "On The Beach." The relentlessness of the progression creates an anticipation of darkness, and the tweaky lead lines and chords just amplify the worry. Once the melody arrives, it evolves into espionage, but soon enough, the psycho edge is back. This is superb!

The Spur dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"The Spur" is a splendid and overlooked Fireballs instro that's well suited for the The Von Hodads' sound. The delicate interplay between lead and rhythm is superb. Totally infectious and warm.