Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Vultures - Surfingdotdot
artworkThe one element that this band uses too much is vibrato, with nearly every track sounding way too much the same. The Vultures play crunchy riff rock surf, with unvarying dynamics and a bunch of energy. Some interesting arranging, and way too many covers or highly derivative originals. The drums are generally not of the genre, though they are pounded mightily. It seems to be a marginally recorded demo, and the tracks all have an interminable delay between the track mark and the beginning of the music, rendering it difficult for use on air, and testing the patience of listeners that select tracks to hear.
Picks: Surfing, Perfidia, Mar Gaya, I Fought The Surf, Lost At Sea, Surf Patrol, Big Gun, Mr. Rebel, Stingray Bay, Besame Mucho, K-39, Hang Ten With The Devil, Out Of Limits, You Only Line Twice

Track by Track Review

Surfing dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a heavy double picked number, with a melodic riff and significant vibrato throb and elements of "Secret Agent Man." It's mostly the same verse to verse, so it doesn't wear well, though there is plenty of coolness from the vibrato.

Perfidia dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The standard morphed into a guitar instro by the ventures is revisited here with a "26 Miles" feel and an otherwise straight delivery. Whammy abounds right where the ventures put it. Just another cover.

Mar Gaya dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This lies somewhere between the heavy thickness and intensity of the Fender IV original and the Firebirds' dry crunching of a few years back. The playing is solid and the energy there. Tone is essentially the only thing that sets this apart, with the exception of a few cool hooks.

I Fought The Surf dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Rhythm chunka chunka and a fine double picked lead line that uses a totally non-surf underpinning. This is quite an interesting composition, most unusual construction and quite effective. This is not an instro version of the classic made famous by Bobby Fuller. It's a high energy driven track with plenty of shred and minimal melody. The vibrato is cool, as is the attack. Pumped crunch.

Lost At Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big guitar notes, some tasty whammy, and a sorta spy sorta tropical guitar line open the track. Interesting solo guitar work with sounds of the surf. Sad and lonely.

Surf Patrol dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Moderately melodic riff instro with constant vibrato. The opening chords are from Benny Spellman's "Fortune Teller," and then the riff ignores that theme, replacing it with an interesting melody line that has a sixties garage pop kinda feel.

Big Gun dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Opening with major bows owed to the Pyramids' "Penetration," this is much too derivative and not varied enough to hold interest for long. Intense, but one dimensional.

Mr. Rebel dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Moderately interesting performance of the Eddie & the Showman classic. Nothing unique happening, and the tone seems at odds with the lilt of the melody.

Stingray Bay dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track has a pleasant melody line, and seems to be better developed than others here. Slightly varied texturally, intense and energetic.

Besame Mucho dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A big grind opening quickly drops into a tasty performance of this classic, which is good because the opener seems out of place and disinteresting. The tone and melody work well together, as does the shimmer of the vibrato.

K-39 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Challengers' hit preceded by a surf report that ends with K-38, just one kilometer north of K-39. The drums sound here is cardboard over-compressed or something. The performance is much more intense than the original, missing the subtleties and the great Hal Blaine drums. Intense and powerful, but not memorable.

Hang Ten With The Devil dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an unmelodic track, mostly a riff with drama and edge, and overbearing drums. Noodly and jam like.

Out Of Limits dotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Just another garage cover of the Marketts' hit. Nothing happening to set it apart.

You Only Line Twice dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

James Bondage goes to the beach with Pussy Galore in a thong bikini and wishes for a permission to remove his gloves before performing the strip search, only to be denied and blindfolded as well. Actually, this is slow and pretty solo guitar work.