"Spy-Surf" gets a fairly well-rounded workout on this trio's 1998 disc. This Canadian group recorded the CD in Japan--in seemingly low-fi, reverb-drenched surroundings with minimal production by lead guitarist Mark Brodie. Though apparently recorded in the late 90's, there's no sound herein which would indicate it was made after 1966 or so--this would have fit right in as the soundtrack to a Bond or Matt Helms movie.The songs are a fairly good cross-section of various rockin' instrumental styles: a couple of surf-like uptempo rockers ("Spy Party" or "Do the Creep"), lots of minor key themes conveying the darkness and danger of spy action(such as "The Man from E.N.I.G.M.A", "Midnight Rendezvous" or the title song), and a couple of choice covers of 60's instrumentals. (These are the Lee Hazelwood-penned "The Hearse", made famous by the best surf band ever from Boulder, Colorado...the Astronauts, and Bobby Fuller's "Our Favorite Martian" (here dubbed "Our Favorite Saboteur").The performances are smooth without being overly polished, the sound treads the line between an echoey demo tape and a retro-low-fi atmosphere, and the overall mood is consistently interesting even though the disc almost seems at times to be made up of a series of variations on a theme. There's one apparent soundbite from some hokey radio play of the 30's or 40's leading off "Into the Shadows", and an even hokier (if that's a word) spoken word intro and outro to the disc which are not nearly as entertaining as the band seems to think they are. The time spent on these two pieces would have been better served by coming up with a few more memorable songs to add to the menu. Other than this tiny complaint, the disc is recommended to anyone wishing to add a bit of secret agent vibe to their next surf party background music or soundtrack.
Introduction 2. Unabomber 3. Spy Party 4. The Man From E.N.I.G.M.A. 5. Espionage Garage 6. The Hearse 7. Midnight Rendezvous 8. Mission: Unsurfable 9. The Crow Flies At Midnight 10. Our Favorite Sabateur 11. Main Theme From 'The Smiler' 12. Into The Shadows 13. Do The Creep 14. Conclusion
AND NOW, THE NEWS...
6 months ago