Thursday, August 09, 2007

Find Your Way To The Sun

Insect Surfers

Reverb Sun

Track by Track Review by Dr Phil Dirt

First studio album for the Insects since Dave left DC in the early eighties. This is one of the most inventive and original instro surf bands. They came from eighties pop roots, passed through the Southwest where they picked up a unique variation on the mysterious sounds of the desert, and landed on the Southern California shores, where the surf instro ethic was added to the mix. the result is a wholly unique sound, infectious and readily identifiable. One of the keys is the perfect counter-playing of the two lead guitars, which create wonderful offsets and complimentary ambiances in which great tracks evolve. One of my favorite modern surf bands.
Picks: Meteorite Shower, Ghost Train, Polaris, Mojave, Grunion Run, Outsider, Halley's Beach, Pleasure Point, Hot N' Glassy, Insect Stomp, Bouzouki
Meteorite Shower ****
This is an infectious tune with a strong melody. It has a driven magnetism about it. The optimism is clear, but so is the energy. There's something uniquely Insect Surfer about it, with the trademark twin lead guitar interplay that defines the Insects. It displays more watery fun and desert delight than just about any tune on disc. It was originally titled "Electric Dayglow Meteorite Shower.
Ghost Train ****
This locomotively driven tune sports whistle chords, and a melodic power line that shouts "train a-comin'." Grinding, cool, and ready for the tunnel.
Polaris *****
This is one perfect instro. The melody line features the kind of hooks that stay with you, the arrangement is nearly magical, and the imagery is stunning. This is a mid tempo beautifully written and played tune with subtle drama and picturesque guitar tones.
Mojave *****
This is one of the most spectacular middle eastern surf tracks around. It hollers bazoukies and belly dancers, yet it also displays ample southwest desert edge and mystery. A highly energetic, melodic, and absolutely infectious track.
Gary Busey ***
A choppy fairly unmelodic number dedicated to those who ride without helmets, crash, and then say "shuck, it didn't hurt much" as they drool out of the side of their face. Actually, I think that requiring helmets is stupid. What is needed is indemnity for the other driver against recovering when available protection hardware is not employed. That goes for seatbelts, air bags etc. You can't legislate protection of people from themselves, but you can limit their ability to blame others for their actions. OK, I'm off my soapbox.
Zuma Slam ****
This is one of two vocals here. It's a leftover from the days just after DC, when songs like "Barricade Beach" were still in the set. I usually loathe surf vocals, but the Insects' craft work with the words always transcended my self-imposed limitations. I dearly miss "VOA" and "Up Periscope." Any way, this is a fine song about doing the Zuma slam... as well we all should. It's not a pick because it's a vocal and this is an instro web site, but I love this chunky track.
Grunion Run ****
A high energy instro with numerous changes, infectious guitar noodleage, dribbling notes, and magnetic joy. The Halibuts have a song called "Grunion Run," but this isn't a cover of that tune.
Outsider *****
This is all about waiting on your board for that long thin dark shadow-line that appears on the horizon, and builds until someone shouts "OUTSIDER!" It shreds, it double-pick pounds, it growls, it groans, and it's killer!
Halley's Beach *****
This is among the early Insect Surfers instros. It has a truly fine melody, infectious and joyous. The track displays a major amount of coolness, using harmonics perfectly. This is just plain great!
Pleasure Point ***
Named for the Santa Cruz surf spot, this sax lead track has a more ominous edge than most of their work, but also sports their fun and fluid guitar sounds.
Hot N' Glassy ***
I think this is among the least melodic of the Insect Surfers songs, but even as such, it is a fun jam with plenty of flair.
Insect Stomp ****
A sax lead number, driven by an almost ska backtrack, with an infectious rhythm that almost demands body movement. The guitar leads dribble off perfect notes sputtered at great speed. Bluesy, tropical, and energetic.
Bouzouki *****
This tune is dedicated to the fabled classic Greek instrument that inspired Dick Dale 's double picking. It combines the trad Greek ethic with surf guitar and bits of "Miserlou." A very strong track.
Surf Sun And Sound ***
An eighties pop chord structure, an enthusiastic beach lyric, and a bit of surf 'n' spy and blues.


RYP said...

love the insects! Great! Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

thank you Trustar once again.I some how lost this album years back . this has been on my list of must get back for some time now. Insect Surfers where one the first bands me and friends got into back in the early 90's.They appealled so much to my sceptical friends for there heavy metallic sound. You must consider most of my pal's were pretty stricked metal head's at the time. they soon grew to realize that METAL is really just the bastard son of SURF.Without people like Dick Dale or Randy Holden or Link Wray. There simply wouldn't or couldn't be heavy metal. Anyone who disagree's Don't. any who, I heard Insect Surfer's have a NEW cd out sweeeet. catch ya later folks. BRANDONIO!

Anonymous said...

Hi-diddely-ho Trustar!

Thanks for sharing The Insects, we all need a little buzz & humm now and then.

Anonymous said...

Great post! Truly one of the most original and, with their twin guitar attack, best-sounding modern surf bands around. Any chance you could post the "Mojave Reef" LP? I've been looking for it for quite a while.
Thanks again!

Trustar said...

Your wish is my command.

Stay tuned