Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Wanglers - Black Horsedotdotdot
artworkmany of the CD's in the Euro-Shadows tradition are mere clones of other bands. Black Horse from the Wanglers is not. It has a warmer and smoother sound, and much more honesty about the playing. Much of it borders MOR as many of these projects seem to, yet its friendly and liquid guitar playing seem to keep it on the right side of the pile. Not at all surf, but very nicely done and enjoyable.
Picks: Black Horse, Saunavihta, Moonshine, Ginza Lights, Space-Twist, Midnight In Moscow, Danger, Theme From Persuaders, Sukiyaki-Twist, Emiko, Romantic Time, Karelia, Romantic Breeze, Cry Over You

Track by Track Review

Black Horse dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very cool track with a great beat and warm melody line. While it's very much in the Euro tradition, it's melody structure and optimism could easily be adapted to the surf idiom. Bouncy and fun. Some damped echoed lines, some open. Richly mixed.

Saunavihta dotdotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Lots of optimism on this track. Adventurous and warm, with anticipation of the village green ahead. "Saunavihta" is a traditional song.

Moonshine dotdotdotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

"Moonshine" is a very moody and pretty song, with harmonics and a few ultra low-E notes. Haunting and warm, there's a mystical quality to this track that's very endearing. The opening rhythm track is very similar to "Goldfinger," but that's the only part that is.

Ginza Lights dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

This is a cover of the Ventures song. While it's pretty, it's also unremarkable. Smooth and lukewarm, "Ginza Lights" moves in a liquid fashion, so much so that it's almost without character.

Space-Twist dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Following short-wave warbles and squeals, "Space-Twist" comes a bouncin' forth. Optimistic, almost flighty, with a pretty sound. I can't decide if this is a keeper or not simply because it's so smooth. OK, it works!

Midnight In Moscow dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very pretty arrangement of the song Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen hit with in the early sixties. Moody and spatial, but more MOR than rock.

Danger dotdotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

The melody to "Danger" is very cool, and while the drums sound pretty ambient, the track is very enjoyable. The warmth and beauty of the melody is something to behold. Nice track.

Theme From Persuaders dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

John Barry's film score gets a dramatic treatment, with brushed cymbals and slow moodiness. Very pretty.

Sukiyaki-Twist dotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

This widely exported Japanese pop song gets a so-so arrangement not unlike the Ventures' version. Nice but forgettable.

Emiko dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

haunting eastern European downer solitude in a pretty format. Very pleasing, and quite fluid, but not particularly memorable.

Romantic Time dotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

As you might expect from the title, "Romantic Time" is pretty middle of the road, though the military beat is strange for a romancer.

Karelia dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Previously surfed up by Archie and the V-2's, "Karelia" is much prettier and softer here. Fluid, but for the retirement porch.

Romantic Breeze dotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

A little Spanish feeling, and oozing Euro-moodiness, "Romantic Breeze" is pretty and enjoyable, but forgettable.

Cry Over You dotdotdotdot
MOR Rock (Instrumental)

Softish, with some really nice chords. Moody and squishy, soft and sullen, cautiously optimistic, and fun. The warmth of the guitar work makes this shine. Very cool!