Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
X-Ray Tango - Spy Fidelitydotdotdot
artworkX-Ray Tango play on a varied landscape constructed of surf, spy, lounge, and cowboy. There are a couple of stellar tracks, some very good stuff, most are surf or surf influenced, plus a couple of vocals. Overall, it's really quite well arranged and played, and very enjoyable.
Picks: Los Banderos, Cilantro, Spymaster Theme, Pulaski Skyway, Tiger Shark, Chile City, Slaughter On Tenth Avenue, The Hero Of Waimea Bay, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Tanquery Sunset

Track by Track Review


Los Banderos dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A sample from an NBC television black and white sci-fi special that counts down a launch, then describes the tales to be woven in "X-Minus One." The track is pure unadulterated Mark Brodie, melodic, fluid, and gorgeously played. Mark's sense of melody is both pure surf and uniquely his. Hid trademark dribbled double picking is spectacular, and as always, his sense of structure is perfect. Highly infectious.

Cilantro dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fine progression based highly energetic and punchy track, featuring a fairly dry second guitar, and surf-beat hand claps over a fine beat. The riff is infectious enough, but when Mark breaks into the midsection glissando, it becomes magical. The gliss is best described borrowing a phrase from Don van Vliet, a "long leanin'" flow. Damn fine track.

Spymaster Theme dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The organ takes the lead, whistlin' its little whirly heart out. The melody is moody and sad, and the tempo is moderate.. The track is both listenable and very enjoyable, despite lacking much guitar. Mark Brodie's writing seems quite adaptable to various styles.

Pulaski Skyway dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What an amazing introduction this track has. It slowly building to introduce the organ-guitar duet, but has such a strong character, it should be a song in its own right. Solid and brilliantly arranged. Menacing and foretelling of destruction to come. Yet, it is also somewhat playful at times. Cool concept.

Tiger Shark dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This track uses a rolling drum cadence in the first verse, then drops into a fine beat as the guitar also changes from crunchy low-E line to a higher, more melodic melody line. It fades out all too fast.

Chile City dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendid cover of the Vistas' "Moon Relay." It's a perfect rendering, though a tiny bit faster, and a lot crunchier. The original is such a fine obscuro, and Mark Has both captured everything there, but has also stamped it with his superb surf sound. Crisp and infectious.

Slaughter On Tenth Avenue dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Twangy dry surf, using the Ventures arrangement. Really clean, and nicely documented. Usually, straight covers don't cut it, but the dry guitar tone and reworked break make this a nice find.

The Hero Of Waimea Bay dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There just isn't a more evil deep throated growl than that which graces the opening of this track. Pure evil, like Satan's own voice providing the chills. The tune is fast, typically Mark Brodie infectious, and quite spirited. The organ whirls and swells under Mark's deluxe double picked lines. Powerful and immediate. The sound of Mark's high note lines is nearly a religious experience.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

string swipes and outboard reverb spring noise introduce this infectious track. The tune is based on a fine and infectious riff over a rumbling two-not bass line that provides real bite. The long slow glissandoes are pure ecstasy. What a fine track. Brodie's ability to create a simple riff, and then milk it for all it's worth is unsurpassed. He demonstrates the real power of the guitar when an infectious line is squeezed out of it.

Tanquery Sunset dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Magnificent surf, accented with warm whammy. The double picked lines are dribbling perfect. Infectious and too fun.