Played in DC with my friends Reverb Galaxy a couple of weeks ago. Can't be on two coasts at a time!
*Served by my friend, Eek the Cat
Not much is known about these four mutated mosquitos; their lives were as normal as most mosquitos until that fateful day they landed on Three Mile Island. "I knew the moment I tasted their blood that something was wrong--horribly wrong!," B Negative was rumored to have said that day. We believe it was that day, that very day, that changed them forever; at least this is what scientists at MIT believe. You see, since that day they've all had this strange desire to play surf music. Before the accident they had never heard of surf! We think something happened during the mutation, something so horrible that they all found a longing for surf music. From what we understand they were warned about the consequences of surf...there is no market for it....it's not really music to most people. They knew they were on a musical road to obscurity. But there was nothing we could do; something, something beyond our power, had taken control of them, and they will forever be known as the "Atomic Mosquitos."
A Tru sign of summer. This album blasting while I cruise down Pacific Coast Highway.
Review by Phil Carter The Extremist lives up to its name, continuing Joe Satriani's tradition of exploring new musical and compositional ground. A vastly different array of musicians assists him in creating the songs displayed on this all-instrumental disc, and as such the songs are different from even the usual envelope-pushing Satriani fare. The chugging "Summer Song," the warm "Friends," the slamming "Motorcycle Driver," and the crunching "The Extremist" show Satriani's talents as a guitarist are undiminished, while the more traditional neo-folk approach to "Rubina's Blue Sky Happiness" and the bluesy "New Blues" are different from anything he has done before. So, too, is the droning rock of "War" and the plaintive, questioning funk-rock of "Why."
The Moon-Rays are unique, As MonsterKid Magazine said, "There is nothing quite like them out there today". They have taken Instrumental Surf and blended it with Beatnik jazz, 1950's Exotica, 60's Spy sounds and dressed it all up in a retro Halloween package.In 2001 the Moon-Rays recorded the theme from WGN's "CREATURE FEATURES" television show, which got them immediate attention across the country with people who grew up in the 60's and 70's in Chicago and remembered fondly sitting in front of the TV on Saturday nights watching the show This recording gave them the opportunity to record their first CD for Sound Imp Records. "THRILLS AND CHILLS" came out in 2002 and was comprised of mainly cover songs of groups like the John Barry 7, Henry Mancini, some music from the television show the "MAN FROM UNCLE", as well as two original songs. One of these songs "1313 MOCKINGBIRD LANE" (named after the address of the Munsters home) found it's way onto numerous Halloween broadcasts that year and was picked up for two movies, "DR HORRORS EROTIC HOUSE OF IDIOTS" and the upcomming documentary on the Horror Host history "AMERICAN SCARY".93 WXRT radio in Chicago picked "THRILLS AND CHILLS" as best instrumental release for 2002, quite an accomplishment for a "spook" band. In 2004 they released their second CD for SVI titled the "GHOULS GO WEST". Unlike the previous CD this one was all original songs except for one and had much more of a "spooky" feel to it. The one thing it had in common with the previous CD is that several songs off of "GHOULS" also were picked up to be featured in films. Their unique blend of beatnik surf and jazz has set them apart from other so called "spook-surf" or Halloween bands, most of which rely on a darker heavy metal sound. We like to refer to our music as "Halloween Lounge" with a lot of humor."GHOULS" got widespread airplay on many college radio stations across the country as well as radio stations in Europe, Japan, and Australia. The newest release by the Moon-rays "Sinister Surf" gets to the roots of 1960's west coast surf and drag music and is dedicated to the late Ed "Big Daddy" Roth whos legacy of Weird-oh's, monsters and finks nitro fueled our imaginations for decades. By Scott Mensching
Review by Richie Unterberger Pollo Del Mar may offer a familiar bag of instrumental surf music tricks on The Golden State, but it's a well-executed and versatile one. Wavering bent notes, quasi-Latin minor-key melodies, a mauling of a standard ("Hall of the Mountain King"), a touch of Davie Allan menace, gentler stuff with a tone that's both searing and serene ("As Above, So Below"), basic good-time chug, even hints of reggae and polka rhythms — all this and more are here. The guitars conjure an admirable arsenal of tones and textures, from sirens and lonely pinging riffs to earthquake-rumbling bass. There's not much else to say about what they do, but what they do they do with efficiency, varying the mood more than many another retro-surf combo. Other than "Hall of the Mountain King," everything's original save for one other rather off-the-wall cover choice, the Clash's "Charlie Don't Surf."
Biography by Tom Demalon The Texas-based band Ghoultown combines punk rock, Western stylings, mariachi, and a dose of B-movie trappings that has earned them attention since their formation in 1999. Led by vocalist/guitarist Count Lyle, and backed by guitarists Lizard Lazario and Jake Middlefinger, bassist Santi, trumpet player Dez Black, and drummer X-Ray Charles, Ghoultown issued a three-song EP entitled Boots of Hell in late 1999, earning solid reviews and some independent radio airplay. They followed with a full-length release, Tales From the Dead West, two years later and live shows, sharing the bill with acts like Rocket From the Crypt, D.R.I., and Dick Dale. Ghoultown managed to gain more exposure in 2002 when several of the band's songs were included in the soundtrack of the slasher flick American Nightmare. The band also had its eyes set on issuing a Ghoultown comic book penned by Lyle.
Friday, April 18thThe Original Line-Up Returns For An Evening Of Surf Classics!
9:30 PM, $12/15,
THE MERMEN return to Moe's Alley featuring the original line-up and bringing their high energy blend of surf music that has wowed audiences for nearly twenty years. Don't miss this special evening with one of the pioneers of psychedelic surf music. One of the odder and more wonderful bands to emerge from the surf music revival, the Mermen race between high-octane surf anthems and spaced-out basts of psychedelia. Neither their albums nor their live shows follow any sort of expected or ordinary path, and the band has made many sincere attempts to get away from the surf music label. Based in San Francisco, the band has developed a broad cult following, encourages tapers, and has developed a strong relationship with radio, resulting in numerous radio broadcasts, some of which were compiled for The Mermen Live at the Haunted House (1994). The Mermen came together almost by accident in 1989, when guitarist Jim Thomas was 35. He was working in a San Francisco music store and experimenting with demo recording equipment, although he didn't really consider himself a musician and had never played in a band. Before long he was joined by bassist Allen Whitman and drummer Martyn Jones, neither of whom fit any kind of pre-determined image of surf musicians (both men, like Thomas, were in their mid-30s), helping to propel the band away from its surf guitar roots, despite the first album, Krill Slippin' (1989, CD reissue in 1995), being essentially pastiche of surf music to that date. Their next album, Food for Other Fish (1994), saw a dramatic shift in the overall Mermen sound, as Thomas allowed himself free reign to improvise and try a variety of different sounds and techniques, aided by a huge rack of effects boxes and floor full of effects pedals. The wall of sound generated by Thomas, combined with the distintive work of Whitman and Jones, brought about comparisons with Sonic Youth alongside those to Dick Dale. Both of these descriptions are effectively limiting, however, as the Mermen sound does a good job of defying description — while the band can do the surf music sound as well as anyone, they are even more adept at pushing into sometimes experimental spaces that take in everyone from John Coltrane to Pink Floyd. Their following continued to grow in the year between the released of Food for Other Fish and the original 1995 release of A Glorious Lethal Euphoria, a 72-minute tour de force originally released by Toadaphile Records. The album drew widespread attention, selling out its first runs. The activity drew the attention of Mesa/Bluemoon Records, a division of Atlantic, who proceeded to sign the band, releasing a revised version of A Glorious Lethal Euphoria later in 1995. An EP, Songs of the Cows, recorded in three days in the midst of a tour was released in 1996. Besides the "official" CD releases, the Mermen have also released a number of limited-edition cassettes featuring early, live, and radio station performances, as well as The Mermen Sing Merry Christmas to You. Taking some time to craft the official follow-up to A Glorious Lethal Euphoria, the Mermen finally returned in 2000 with the full-length The Amazing California Health and Happiness Road Show. The band has worked to build a recording studio in Santa Cruz, where they are currently at work on their new album. View All Upcoming Shows
"Hillbilly Soul Surfers guitarist Sherman LeRoi wrestles a drool-worthy array of retrophilic gear, including a Guitorgan, a plastic Hagstrom, all the right Fender amps, plus stand alone reverb units and a Leslie. He knows how to use it - the L.A. combo's debut, Hot Damn BoBo, is a pornocopia of sexy period tones, all glistening with honest low wattage amp sweat. LeRoi and company live up to their name, adding rockablilly and '60s Memphis soul seasonings to the surf stew. They rely heavily on familiar cover tunes but freshen them with clever stylistic shell games, tearing through a rockabilly-fueled 'Pipeline' with Cliff Gallup panache and reinventing 'Penetration' as Steve Cropper and the MG's might have played it." - GUITAR PLAYER Magazine
"The Fathoms delight with reverb-drenched Fender guitars and moody sax solos." -- Washington Post
It's time once again to quiver and shake with the East Coast kings of surf `n' stomp, as The Fathoms return with their first album in almost ten years! Known to many as one of the best modern surf bands in the world, The Fathoms take the classic 1960s surf sound (think The Astronauts) and infuse it with early UK beat (think The Shadows), rockabilly (think Johnny Burnette & His Rock `n' Roll Trio), fuzz-garage (think Davie Allan & The Arrows), and even a bit of '50s Latin rock (think Ritchie Valens' early instro sides). Coming from Boston, a city known more for clam chowder than for "hangin' ten," the group is the brainchild of guitarist Frankie "Crankie" Blandino, whose infectious guitar picking is simply amazing with its wet-reverb tones and southern-fried twang. Blandino is joined by the rest of The Fathoms, who are all musicians of the highest caliber: Jerry Miller on rhythm guitar, Paul Tomasello on bass, Doug Hinman on drums, and the band's secret weapon: Dave Sholl on saxophone. Sholl's distinctive sleazy sax gives the band a layer of R&B that not only sets it apart from the run-of-the-mill surf groups, but also makesit the most authentic-sounding band in the genre. You'll swear it's the summer of 1963 all over again!
Graciously provided for your listening pleasure by Teisco @ brilliant 320
Phil Dirt says:
This is a totally solid retrospective of this fine band, with the added bonus of a number of newly released tracks added for good measure. Recommended, this CD has a large volume of great tracks. Picks: Circus Monkey, Casbah, The Spider, The Plan, Spacecar 2001, The Cashier, Jack The Samurai (Defeats All Evil), Enter Skolastik, The Agent vs. The Next Mexican, Hypnotic, The Danger Of TV Radiation, Car Hire From Hell, From Kazakhstan With Love, Carlos, Chainsaw Boogie, El Coyote, The Paratrooper, The Man With The White Tie, Volcano, White Trash Caravan, Tornado, El Ray
****Spy Surf Instrumental (stereo)Dark and thrashy, "Circus Monkey" screams glissandos and surfisms in a heavy syrup of tubular destruction. An excellent powerhouse of green water assault.
****Surf Instrumental (stereo)Richie Podolor's "Casbah" is given a different face that is both restrained and powerful. In some ways, it's like the Mermen version, and in others, it's gentle. Very rich and cool.
****Spy Surf Instrumental (stereo)"The Spider" starts off slow and easy, but quickly launches into a thick swirl of chords and double picked frenzy. Very adventurous and refreshing.
****Surf Instrumental (stereo)Tweaky, twisted, demented... and that's the opening. "A Shot In The Dark" at an evil asylum where the inmates are in charge. Quirky and playful, and very cool.
***Rock Instrumental (stereo)"Spacecar" is a heavy surf thrasher with a dark mean edge. Mostly rhythm dominated and forceful, it fires a barrage of guitar bullets with impunity. More rock than surf, but very strong and double picked at times with a vengeance.
****Spy Surf Instrumental (stereo)This low key number sports a rich melody line and very pleasing arrangement. "The Cashier" is dramatic in a downplayed and sad way. Very cool indeed!
Jack The Samurai (Defeats All Evil)
***Surf Instrumental (stereo)On the spy side of surf, with duel lead guitars and organ, "Jack The Samurai (Defeats All Evil)" is a thick and powerful song with a surf-discotheque sound. Big twang chords and pumping bass break.
****Surf Instrumental (stereo)From an angular start, "Enter Skolastik" becomes a very cool instro with an attractive melody line and rhythmic second guitar, along with tom tom action. It's a very pleasing song.
The Agent vs. The Next Mexican
****Surf Instrumental (stereo)Spaghetti western structure and whistling a la Ennio Morricone, this slow and haunting song is very scenic and appealing in a relaxed sadness kind of way.
*****Surf Instrumental (stereo)Rhythmic chunk and spooky European spy melody lines haunt this interesting instrumental. "Hypnotic" is an unusual and attractive song with a kind of crystalline feel, coupled with just a touch of spaghetti western.
The Danger Of TV Radiation
****Surf Instrumental (stereo)Brash guitar chords, stereo echoed guitar lead spookiness, and an ominous backtrack... "The Danger Of TV Radiation" presents a dangerous sound in an uneasy arrangement that's quite befitting the title.
Car Hire From Hell
***Danger Desert Surf Instrumental (Stereo)With a big chord intro like Rumble and sliced choking, "Car Hire From Hell" launches right into a double picked rampage of sound. Giant and intense.
From Kazakhstan With Love
****Danger Desert Surf Instrumental (Stereo)Cool percussion and groovy spy organ run beneath a pair of tasty guitars, one playing a trembling melody, and the other playing a captivating pattern The swap roles in the breaks. "From Kazakhstan With Love" is a very cool track with a suave edge.
****Danger Desert Surf Instrumental (Stereo)"Carlos" must be a loner, 'cuz this song portrays a lone character of the kind spaghetti westerns are often about. Some fast tense verses, some more emotional, and some feedback. This is a thick and layered track with a very large sound. It seems to transverse great expanses. Quite engaging.
****Danger Surf Instrumental (Stereo)"Chainsaw Boogie" moves slowly with richness and a gloomy underbelly. The whistling organ and chorus create a sense of dungeons and gloom, while the bass and drums bode ill for the morrow, and the big chords rule. There are many darknesses wrapped up in this track, and a rising sense of layered nervousness. As the wash rises in density, the tension rises along with it.
*****Danger Desert Surf Instrumental (Stereo)This slow track does a fine job of portraying a desert view where lone predators hunt prey. It's a lonesome track with great whammy chords and a long view. Drama, beauty, volume, and haunted shadows. Cowboy meets the surf in a halfpipe.
****Danger Desert Surf Instrumental (Stereo)Nervous intense notes, large grumble, and dark danger emote from this minimalist track. It's not melodic, but rather is all about setting a scene of threatening and forbidding images. Very heavy, with a thick and thunderous sound.
The Man With The White Tie
****Surf Instrumental (Stereo)"The Man With The White Tie" is a grand spy-ish number with mystery throughout, as well as a melodic flow. Rich textures and a slightly ominous edge grant this track a very cool sound. The double picked verse is quite nice.
*****Surf Instrumental (Stereo)"Volcano" is a strong stomper with double picked lead power and spy charm. Its mysterious melody and powerful delivery make it quite menacing and compelling.
White Trash Caravan
****Surf Instrumental (Stereo)Well now, "White Trash Caravan" is a lumbering number with a dark underbelly and circulating riff. The drama rises as the song proceeds. Seriously sound track bound, it's commanding and big. Inserted shouted lines add a demented edge. It doesn't really musically suggest anything white trash, and there's no musical reference to a caravan, stylistically or as a borrowed element from Duke Ellington.
Too Drunk To F**k
**Surf Vocal (Stereo)This unpleasantly titled number song is a vocal that's down right disturbed. You can imagine the content.
*****Surf Instrumental (stereo)This demo version of "Tornado" really rocks. Excellent rhythm and lead guitars, rock solid bass, and superb drums. Driving compressed double picked leads ride atop a high energy bed. Excellent!
****Surf Instrumental (stereo)Choppy percussive and playful, "El Ray" has some of the feel of the Mermen with heavy duty driving. Great energy and power, with intense guitar lines. Lots of rock edge.
Ripped & served by the Amazing Teisco, Danke senor
Phil Dirt - Reverb Central says:
Well now, this is certainly a splendid album! The early demos certainly hinted at the possibilities, but TubeStone have taken their fine writing into new territory via very clean production and wonderful arranging that reminds me of the Bambi Molesters. That's quite a compliment, give how much I like that band. The twin leads play counter melodies and simply sound wonderful together.
"Blow Away From The Future" "Blow Away From The Future" has a picturesque, almost panoramic feel to it, with atmospheric reverb and double picked fluidity. The melody is very motion oriented, and the overall song is quite inviting.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Big Piece Of Cake" This is too cool! The rhythm guitar reminds me a lot of the way the Bambi Molesters use rhythm, more a counter melody than pulsing. The lead and rhythm trade leadership verse to verse. "Big Piece Of Cake" is a very warm and engaging instrumental.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Walk On The Edge" This moderately paced song opens with a bass run, but quickly involves everybody. Stylistically reminiscent of fellow countrymen the Bitch Boys, it's adventurous and very melodic, with cool watery glissandos. "Walk On The Edge" is a double picked song with a bit of thrash and sparkle, and a solid melody line. Ample changes and flash, along with a sense of adventure and tubular danger, plus a well thought out arrangement, give this song a lasting quality. Excellent!Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Sixtysitforsms" This is a very pretty and moody song with beautiful ringing chords and a haunted arrangement. While it's fundamentally on the sad side, "Sixtysitforsms" also sports hopeful optimism as the sun rises on crystalline waves. Very nice!Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Bandi" This is a fine track, with double picked splash and charm, and a fine melody line. Lots of energy, surf sensibility, and European panache. "Bandi" is infectious and optimistic, and sports solid surf imagery.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Homo Electricus" What a playful song! "Homo Electricus" virtually dances on the speakers. Full of finesse and sparks in a very liquid fashion, with an amazing lead-rhythm interaction. Wonderful!Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Moonrider" "Moonrider" is structured in a more traditional way in places, and features great glissandoes and surf chords. Lots of fire and pizzazz in this high energy surf blaster. With vibrato edge, it's occasionally dissonant, often manic, and always powerful.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Lazy Queen Dazy" "Lazy Queen Dazy" is another song that reminds a bit of the Bambi Molesters. The relentless rolling nature of the song and its perfect glissandos make it a grand listening choice.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Billy The Kid's Ride To Mexico" Excellent! "Billy The Kid's Ride To Mexico" is double picked in low-E surf style, with a sense of Mexico and the curl. Powerful and fast, with great drums and a ton of energy. The more I hear this, the more I like it. This song may well be my fave!Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Roadcoaster" "Roadcoaster" is rhythmic and chord dominated, with a fiery double picked lead guitar line over the top. Fast drums and thundering bass drive it well. An excellent song!Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Katarakt" Shimmering hard drivin' surf with epic glissandoes played with complete abandon. "Katarakt" has a fine melody line that is very interactive with the rhythm. Very good indeed.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Stringers Walk" "Stringers Walk" is on the spooky side, with a long downward spiral of melody lines landing is a whirlpool of splendid surf. The arrangement is reminiscent of early Bambi Molesters. Circular and very engaging.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Beanow De Cleash" Long chords play against jangle. This somewhat angular song jangles like eighties pop, surfs like a Cosmonauti recording, and holds you through a thick and relentless energy. Warm and breezy.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Blue Rose" "Blue Rose" slows it down a bit. This very pretty melody is haunting and sad. The double picked guitar section brings in optimism and life. This is one compelling song that it lures you in. This rerecorded version is very nice.Surf Instrumental Stereo
"Macaca" Dramatic and Mediterranean or Gypsy inspired, "Macaca" is a splendid track with a lilting melody and sense of a sunny afternoon driving down PCH. Very nice track.Surf Instrumental Stereo