Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Why's - Sanjyodotdotdot
artworkThe Why's were characterized to me as a kind of Neptunas, but Japanese cute. I'm not sure that fits. The musicianship on the disc is quite solid, especially the drums.

Tracks 1-6 are reasonably well mixed, and display some interesting melodies, though a couple are lifted from the work of others.

Tracks 7-10 have an aural quality that is completely unlike the first 6, coming clearly from a different source, and were not remastered to overcome that stark difference. These are relatively murky, lacking in perceived dynamics, and sport much less sophisticated writing that is more like frat rock with reverb than surf.

All that said, I know many of you will find the Why's to be just what the doctor ordered, and they are touring the West Coast in November, so you and I can see what they are like live.
Picks: Por Que, Deep-Red Sun, Sunset Party, Oh! Ninja, Bye Bye Beach, Sirius Star, Satsujin Taiyo, Minato De Sasareta Otoko, Surf Opera, Ebola Beach

Track by Track Review


Por Que dotdotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

The charm of the Spanish moon and sultry black lace permeate the styling of this grand instro. Great drums and haunting guitar pumped up by round bass combine to create a splendid south of the border surf epic. Long lingering slides help project the imagery. Way cool!

Deep-Red Sun dotdotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

"Deep-Red Sun" is really Kai Winding and Kenny Burrell's goofy "Surf Bird," but all cleaned up and transformed into real surf. Tuff and fun and spunky, it has become a marvelous song that's very engaging and endearing.

Sunset Party dotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

In some ways, "Sunset Party"is quite similar to Lee Hazelwood's "Movin'," so much so that it seems derivative, though that doesn't detract from its charm. Strong and catchy and very surf.

Oh! Ninja dotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

With a bit of traditional Japanese flair in the opener, "Oh! Ninja" quickly becomes a speedy surfy instro with a very non-surf melody. Its more frat rock structure is complimented by the reverb treatment, but its not-catchy melody line just didn't hold my attention.

Bye Bye Beach dotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

On the island side of the rock instro aisle, but with feet firmly planted in rock, "Bye Bye Beach" rocks and flows with a charm and style that make it very pleasant. The "ooh ooh" chorus adds a touch of class.

Sirius Star dotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

"Sirius Star" is on the fast side, and employs a circular melody riff saved by great drums and solid energy. Totally fun, but not memorable.

Satsujin Taiyo dotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

"Satsujin Taiyo" is a bit more than frat rock, but is surely in that vein with reverb and ample surfisms. Fun and spunky.

Minato De Sasareta Otoko dotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

Fast and circular, glissando charged, and amped up, with great drums and rapid fire lines. Very spunky, and quite fun. "Minato De Sasareta Otoko" uses a melody line that's been used before, though for the life of me, I can't place it.

Surf Opera dotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

"Surf Opera" is about drama and darkness, exaggerated by dissonant chords and murky sound. Fast and gloomy, and yet compelling.

Ebola Beach dotdotdot
Reverb Rock (Instrumental)

This riff rocker splashes and stomps, but doesn't gel from reverb to surf. Frat rock melody structure through most sections, but with a sort of familiar guitar line in the break.