Tuesday, November 27, 2007
by Mark Deming
If you're looking for someone to help you share the joy and magic of the holiday season, who better than the world's leading masked instrumental surf band? Los Straitjackets don't offer up a whole lot of surprises on 'Tis the Season for los Straitjackets!, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing; Eddie Angel and Danny Amis serve up lots of tasty guitar work, and Pete Curry and Jimmy Lester are one solid rhythm section, just as they've always been, and on these 13 tunes (11 covers and two originals) the lucha libre-obsessed guitar wranglers show off the smarts, humor, and sterling chops that have become their trademark. The "La Bamba"-accented "Feliz Navidad," a version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" which channels the spirit of the Chantays, and the Ventures tribute of "Sleigh Ride" are highlights, and while this album will go over best with those who thrive on retro cool, this should send your next Christmas party into a state of dance fever with anyone who appreciates the era of enjoyable AM radio. How's the surf at the North Pole these days, anyway?
1 Here Comes Santa Claus
2 A Marshmallow World
3 Feliz Navidad
4 Jingle Bell Rock
5 Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
6 God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
7 Frosty the Snowman
8 Christmas in Las Vegas
9 Let It Snow
10 Sleigh Ride
11 Christmas Weekend
12 The Little Drummer Boy
13 The Christmas Song
Friday, November 23, 2007
The DYNOTONES, hailing from Orange, California, are a four piece surf/hot rod combo consisting of Dano Nichols (guitar), Dan Moses (guitar), Rob Kruse (bass Guitar), and Scott Simpson (drums). Influences of the band include Astronauts, Link Wray, Bobby Fuller, the Pyramids, and the Ventures. The DYNOTONES have been playing their brand of instrumental rock-n-roll since the spring of 1995.The band was reformed with new members Dan Moses and Rob Kruse in June of 1998. Known for their high energy performances, The DYNOTONES have shared stages with the likes of Los Straightjackets, the Bomboras, Deke Dickerson, and the Ghastly Ones. Playing small clubs to outdoor events, like street fairs and the Rat Fink Reunions, the DYNOTONES have perfected the nostalgic sounds of the past and developed a style that has earned them a place among todays most successful instrumental groups, as well as complementing those of the past.
Jerry Cole was a first-call session guitarist in the 1960s who played on a number of Phil Spector's epochal sides and led the pit bands for the rock & roll-oriented TV shows Shindig and Hullabaloo. When he wasn't busy with all that, he cut a number of instrumental rock albums under a variety of assumed names, but Outer Limits features Cole and his band working under his own shingle for a change. Outer Limits is a no-fuss collection of 11 surf-influenced tunes, many of them covers of popular hits of the day, and while Cole's style couldn't be called "revolutionary," there's a lot more muscle in the performances of "Pipeline" and "Wipeout" than on the originals. Cole's discreet use of fuzz and the full-bodied tone he could conjure from his gear give his performances a sound that stands out from others of his ilk, and his originals are strong if basic stuff. If this isn't exactly the Holy Grail for surf fans (and the more passionate might want to spring for Power Surf!: The Best of Jerry Cole & His Spacemen), Outer Limits is still good fun, and anyone who digs classic surf and instrumental sides will get hip to this.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Re-upped by popular demand
Reviewby Richie Unterberger
Not just the best, but virtually all of the Pyramids, on this 20-track compilation: songs from their sole album, a few non-LP singles, and two previously unissued tracks from their appearance in the Bikini Beach film. "Penetration" is available on several surf compilations, and everyone but surf collectors should stick with those.
2 Road Runnah
3 Pyramid Stomp
4 Koko Joe
5 Sticks and Skins
6 Everybody [CD Bonus]
8 Long Tall Texan [CD Bonus]
9 Do the Slauson [CD Bonus]
10 Out of Limits [CD Bonus]
11 Louie, Louie [CD Bonus]
12 Here Comes Marsha
13 Walkin' the Dog
16 Pyramid's Stomp [45 Version]
17 Custom Caravan
18 Midnight Run
19 Record Run [#]
20 Bikini Drag [#]
Monday, November 12, 2007
Re-upped for Zillagord
-The First Church Of Holy Rock´n´Roll, USA
It’s time for another groovy and twisted hellride into the world of The Mutants! The instrumental Helsinki six-piece returns with an impressive second album, taking their freaky afro-garage-mambo to even wilder spheres. Their genre-defying musical cocktail will leave purists breathless with cool, all-out “party on!”-attitude. But hey, this band is serious! They’re definitely not some lame academic instrumental salarymen!
The sound of The Mutants is very simple to describe: take the fuzz of 60’s garage beat, some hints of psychedelia from the same bygone era, then add funky rhythms and grooves from the 70’s and mix that all with damnedly plain rock’n’roll music and some punk attitude.
After their 2003 “Voodoo Blues” album, The Mutants have been active and faithful to their underground roots by releasing several vinyl singles, as well as recording soundtrack material to skate and snowboard films all around the globe.
This is not a surf CD, but I have long liked the Mutants' original blend of sounds. Once again they have created a new variation.
"Welcome To Death Cult" This is a 30 second introductory scene designed to set up the mood.
"Port - Au - Prince" A large and engaging fuzz chord progression brings on a heavy track with exotic percussion that's like a cross between voodoo and metal. Dark and commanding, with lots of spunk and textural variation. Very cool.
"Heavy Caramba!" On the edge of surf with heavy darkness and a great rhythm, "Heavy Caramba!" is spooky and enticing at the same time. Haunted keys, engaging textures, and menacing thunder.
"Cops In Heat" "Cops In Heat" hints of "Funky Fidel" in some ways, though it's surely not that thick and rhythmic. Funky, fun, yet dark and moody.
"Iron Jamaica" No, it's not metal reggae... "Iron Jamaica" is a rock song with an early Santana sound less the Latin influences. It's an interesting mix of styles - sort of a small combo piece with swirling psycho degeneration.
"Mutants Death Cult" You might imagine the Mutants passing out Cool-Aid for the short-livers, but you'd miss the throbbing tremolo and the haunting soundscape. Psychedelic, exotic, and pretty damn scary!
"Serious Mojo" Another track that reminds me of early Santana in concert less the liquid Latin soul, but still tribal. Quite a large sound.
"Jun' Gala" Large guitar sustain and rock hall beat with an early seventies progressive rock or maybe Krautrock sensibility. Feedback and a circular riff. This grows on you.
"White Trash Trouble Man" Like a swamp thing coming for your girlfriend while you're out getting a refill on that popcorn, "White Trash Trouble Man" is about big drama and fear. A very cool rhythm guitar, long sustained edge, exotic percussion, and atmospheric keys and horns. Like a soundtrack to a film, this is way cool!
"The Ghost Of Meadow Hill" haunts the halls where the band rehearses, or so it would seem. This is a gentle track with a jazzy edge and very comfortable progressive sound, maybe a little like a blend of Gabor Szabo, Harvey Mandell, and Epitaph. This track has a very rude narrative.
-Reverb Central, USA-
Picks: Engines of Difference, Miserlou, Rocketship XL, Shockwave, Squad Car
Zorba and the Greeks' obscuro "Shockwave" is thickly delivered, with intense guitar and trumpet. The blend of fuzz, surf, and trumpet brings out interesting elements of this fine tune.Surf Instrumental Stereo
Riffin' progressions and loud guitar drive hard for the night time. The guitar needs a little more variation, but the track satisfies, especially the trumpet and power-drive glissandoes.Surf Instrumental Stereo
Blast off for a hard ride on the Phantoms's obscuro "XL-3." Big and trashy, powerful and intense.Surf Instrumental Stereo
Arranged a la Dick Dale's "Miserlou Twist" sans violins, this is a straight ahead fiery performance, trumpet and all. Very trad arrangement, modern aggressive delivery.Surf Instrumental Stereo
Bad boy, bad boy, what'cha gonna do... oh, sorry. Eddie and the Showmen's "Squad Car" drives hard, like Eddie's performances from the eighties, nineties and new millennium. Lots of power and drive, and the trumpet is very cool as it plays a duet with the guitar in the last verse!Surf Instrumental Stereo
Another slammin' Man Or Astro-MAN? cover, with fire and brimstone, and peppermint patties for the kiddies.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Engines of Difference"
This is a live thrashing riff rockin' assault on tranquility. Much more about power and drive than melody, yet probably magnetic with an audience. Lots of cool changes and variations.Surf Instrumental Stereo
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Surfers had to be in top form to ride the rip-tides on a longboard. These boards took a great skill to master, and discouraged many a beginner. Longboards didn't paddle out to sea waiting for a wave - they created a tsunami of surf sounds. They have taken three pieces of vintage equipment and recorded an old-school valve mix of hot summer sounds. Catch the curl in "Bonzai Wash Out", feel your wetsuit being pulled on in "Toro." Take a break from the Sun in "Desert Sky Beach". Jodi Porras plays bass as if he is riding his instrument into a wall of warm water. Hot & fast, loud & clear. Alfredo Ramero on guitars is twang-time, reverb surf city. Ander Boda pounds the skins in a way that will make you feel like you caught the "Wallride" and made it in to cruise the beach another sunny day. Longboards are playing at the same beach party as Los Straightjackets, Dick Dale and the Phantom Surfers. A classic mix of style, sounds and instruments make this one an all-dayer. As you listen to this recording of perfect surfin' sounds it will take you to a hot sandy beach in your woody. The people are pretty and the waves just get bigger and better. Longboards are champions of surf sounds - come and ride the wildest waves with them.
1 Moment Of Truth
2 Requiem For Link
4 Jeff Philips
5 Journey To The Stars
6 Banzai Washoot
7 Big Surf
10 Roll Out
12 Desert Sky Beach
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Served by the mighty Teisco
My goodness, have the Swiv-o-matics ever grown! This is a very well developed set of new music from a band that refuses to recognize the boundaries of genre labels. Exceptional and unique material here, not from main street, but from the outskirts of town, where the suburbs meet the woods at the edge of the continent. Great stuff!
1. Charm City Surfer
2. Innocent Lee
3. The Woman in Skin 13
4. Semi Loads from Mexico
5. (She Came From) Planet Stripper
9. Hag in a Black Leather Jacket
11. Stairway to Hampden
12. Swiv Winter
13. Dundalk, France
14. Journey to the Center of the Drawer
Friday, November 09, 2007
1 Happenings Ten Years Time Ago
2 Good Vibrations
4 Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
5 If Six Was Nine
6 Strawberry Fields Forever
7 Black and White
8 Love of the Common Man
9 When I Pray
11 Verb "To Love"
12 Boogies (Hamburger Hell
Big Beef Records has some prime cuts coming from their studios on this rainbow-colored outing. You can't quantify it as surf yet the influence is echoing in the distance. This is instrumental rock. How do you stick a group like this in a particular genre? You just can't. Tabbed as surf-rock, they prove time and again that it's a very narrow description of their diverse sound. Their range is too far into the distant galaxies of instrumental wanderings to be categorized. This is a really good example of how to use your talent and explore and experiment with music. It's much easier to do when you don't have to sing a note. Let the music do the talkin'. It speaks loud and clear and it works.
I found this group and their music to be entirely enjoyable. I am scratching my head and wondering why I haven't heard more of these guys. They really cook. The group never lets up and is in a fine tuned mode of synchronization. Get smarter and listen to "Greetings From Planet Stupider" instro heads!! MUZIKMAN
1. Delta Velocity
3. Spank The Lightning
4. The Stalker
5. Go-Go Boot Camp
6. Pocketful Of Pennies
9. Automatic Egypt
11. Demanding The Impossible
12. Shadow Walk
14. Dr. Cyclops/Danger Todd Robinson
GBC - America's Kick-Ass Blues Rock Band
Mick Stover and Dave Osti, the core members of Gentlemen’s Blues Club, have been band mates and friends since they met years ago during an audition in Los Angeles. Over the years they collaborated regularly and have played together in over a dozen bands. During the ‘90s, while Dave Osti was enjoying a successful solo career, Mick Stover was recording albums and touring the world with international blues icon BB Chung King, including tours with Gilby Clarke and “the King of the Blues”, BB King.When offered a chance to produce albums for Manifest Destiny Records, Mick asked his old friend Dave to sing, play guitar, and co-write songs for GBC. Mick then recruited some of his über-talented music industry friends to back them up on the album. Teddy Zigzag (Guns & Roses, Alice Cooper), Philip Sayce (Melissa Ethridge, Jeff Healey), David Raven (Iggy Pop, Ricky Martin), and Frank Simes (Don Henley, Mick Jagger) made guest appearances on GBC tracks and play live with the band from time to time.The 1st album, “Shotgun Wedding”, was released to critical acclaim and was embraced by radio audiences around the globe. FM and Internet radio stations in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France, Holland, Croatia, Macedonia, Belgium, Norway, and Italy soon added songs from Shotgun Wedding to their playlists. As a result, GBC released 2 more albums - “Longhorn Honeymoon” and “Collector’s Edition.” Complimenting the vibrant, well-crafted CDs is an exciting and unforgettable live show. From the initial licks of the opening intro riff to the emotional climax of the encore, each GBC concert is a no-holds-barred celebration of musical synergy. Every time they perform, GBC makes good on their promise to put on a high-energy, jaw-dropping, take-no-prisoners performance that leaves audiences proclaiming “THESE GENTLEMEN KICK ASS!”
2 Shotgun Wedding
3 Like the Thorn Protects the Rose
4 The Bastard
5 Living at the Aztec Hotel
6 White Room
7 Lyndell Shuffle
8 Whipping Post
9 The Gift of Life
10 Miser Blues
11 Since I've Been Loving You (Live Version)
12 Dust Broom (Live Version)
13 Shotgun Wedding (Live Version)
14 White Room (Sonic Assault Mix feat. Philip Sayce)
15 Lyndell Shuffle (Harpe Diem Mix feat. Kellie Rucker)
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Day of the Eagle
Bridge of Sighs
In This Place
Fool and Me
Too Rolling Stoned
About to Begin
Little Bit of Sympathy
Day of the Eagle (Live)
Bridge of Sighs (Live)
Too Rolling Stoned (Live)
Lady Love (Live)
Little Bit of Sympathy (Live)
The Falcons play original instrumental rock inspired by The Shadows and The Ventures. Formed in 1992, The Falcons have helped revive the instro rock genre worldwide.
Based in Vancouver, Canada, The Falcons have recorded four original albums, toured in the Yukon and Europe, and showcased in Japan.
The Falcons 1992 cassette, featuring "Shadow Land", charted coast to coast in the top ten on Canadian campus radio.
Debut album "Queen of Diamonds", with guest Ventures guitarist Nokie Edwards, was named 1998 Album of the Year by UK instro magazine PIPELINE.
Queen of Diamonds Reviews
From the bottom of my heart, I am glad The Falcons have produced such a beautiful album.Yuzo Sasaki, GUITAR GRAPHIC, Japan
Queen of Diamonds must be the most eagerly awaited debut instrumental album since The Shadows LP in 1961.Alan Taylor & Dave Burke, PIPELINE
The Falcons sound mixes the energy of The Ventures with the twangy atmosphere of The Shadows. For fans of instrumental rock this will be an essential purchase.Sean Berry, THE CONTINENTAL, USA
In this excellent album, The Falcons are better than ever!Sergio Nascimento, INSTRUMENTAL NEWSLETTER, Brazil
Superb. Indispensable.Jean Bachelerie, GUITARS & DRUMS, France
Silver Dollars (she wore)
The Moon Under Water
Queen of Diamonds
The Beloved Invaders play instrumental surf, featuring both originals and covers of classic and modern surf tunes. Now if you're thinking beach music, consider all that is surf: Dick Dale's classic "Misirlou" from Pulp Fiction, the reverb-drenched guitar sound of "Pipeline", the Latin groove of "Sway", the jazzy sounds of Duke Ellington's "Caravan", the desert theme from "Lawrence of Arabia", the spy classics "Hawaii Five-O" and "The Fugitive", the slow waltz of "Sleepwalk", and the eastern-European slam-dance of "Dark Eyes".... The Invaders play all of this and more, as well as their original compositions, which alternate between driving and jazzy, haunting and exotic.
All of it is music that will make you move, all done in retro-fashion - the real deal.
The Beloved Invaders:
Bob Cannistraro lead guitar
J. Scott Johnson bass guitar
Clay Bielman drums
1. Mr. Moto
2. Wild Night
3. Besame Mucho.
4. The Savage
6. Hot Summer
9. Journey to the Stars
10. Harlem Nocturne
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
I'm back and getting my legs back under me a bit. Going to start off with a few re-ups that were resuested while I was away.
(Yes, the review is in French. I could not get Google Translator to work for me today. Sorry) What is says though, is THAT THEY'RE GOOD!
Mélange de surf-music, de rock garage et de punk rock pour un set explosif constitué de compos originales et de reprises diverses et variés (de Link Wray à Dead kennedys, en passant par the Tornadoes, Bobby Fuller, Dick Dale...!).
La formation est composée de membres de Second Rate , Munky Posse, et des Ronnie Rockets. Ils ont joué avec Dick Dale (Usa), Jon Spencer Blues Explosion (Usa), Sonny Vincent (Usa), Custom Made Scare (Usa), the Darlingtons (Usa), the Pipelines (Suede), Neurotic Swingers, Hellsuckers, the Juanitos, Jerry Spider Gang, Weak, Hellbats, Chewbacca All star, Sparkling Bombs, Second Rate, the Hatepinks, Surfin' Matadors, El Ray (Danemark), the Manikins (Suede), Bikini Machine, Uncommonmenfrommars, Los Banditos (Allemagne), Leopaul Kraus (Allemagne) et bien d'autres...
En 2003, sortie de leur très bon premier album 'Let There Be Surf'.
En 2004 est sorti : 'The Octopus Incident ?' Un super album ý ajouter sans faute ý 'Let There Be Surf'.
Après un série de tournées dont les dates sont présentes sur leur site, le groupe a pris la décision de se séparer, en nous laissant un dernier album 'The Shape Of Surf To Come', pour novembre 2005.
Pas mal de titres ý écouter / télécharger sur leur site (inédits) : Proud to be a cryptic surfer, Too drunk to surf, Batman revisited (super), La Bruta, Rumble, etc. dont l'excellent 'Electric spiderman' qui n'est pas encore sur un album (compil uniquement) dans la lignée de leur deuxième album ou certains titres du premier album (Surf 'n' Destroy, Astrocrypt Hellsurfer, etc.)
Proud to be a Cryptic Surfer
Psycho Beach Party
Too drunk to surf
Run Chicken Run
Bullwinkle Part II
Pacific Darkside (live)
Surfin' with Betty (live)
More to come!