Martin Cilia – Surfersaurus
|This is a splendid release from Australian guitarist Martin Cilia, who plays lead in the current version of surf legends The Atlantics. Within, you’ll find some stellar tracks with Martin’s signature whammy and intensity. Wonderful!
Picks: Number One, Walk Don’t Run, Futurama, Albatross, Apache, Pipeline, Endless Summer, Surfersaurus, Wipeout, Misirlou, December Sun, Telstar, Twilight Surfer, The Crusher
Track by Track Review
Big tremolo whammy and deep reverb throb mightily to open “Number One.” This guitar solo serves as an introduction to “Walk, Don’t Run.”
This is a big and rich interpretation of Johnny Smith‘s “Walk Don’t Run.” While loosely based on The Ventures 1960 classic, there’s a lot here that takes it away from that root. Intense string bending and broad reverb ambiance. Very strong!
This is a fast number in The Atlantics shadow, with rolling drums and intense guitar. “Futurama” sports a superb melody and super deluxe muted flurries harkening back to “Bombora.” Exceptional!
Peter Green‘s slithery “Albatross” is moved slightly toward the surf, proving its initial surf worthiness. Haunting and atmospheric. Island mystery, foggy moods, and wonderful sound.
Muted reverb, Shadows’ guitar treatment, and original rhythm patterns give Jerry Lordan‘s classic Indian melody the bridge it’s long needed between the Brits and the Swiss and Surf. It’s galloping rhythms are infectious. Simply cool!
A touch of Dick Dale and Stevie Ray Vaughan, stretched into an Oz soundscape, with the sort of rhythm intensity that The Neon Spores invoked when they powered it up as their very last song ever back in ’92. Very powerful and full throated.
Liquid coolness oozes as Martin Cilia brings The Sandals‘ “Endless Summer” into a more surfy place. Totally cool dribbling muted chords and a saucy rhythm. Perhaps the coolest cover of this song.
“Surfersaurus” has a sense of open road adventure in its primary riff. The dribbled out chords in the breaks are particularly nice. At times, it’s a bit jammy with flights of rock guitar, but that only serves to create tension between sections.
The Surfaris‘ “Wipe Out” (not The Impacts‘ “Wipeout” as the title suggests) is done in an interesting manner. The drums are less dominant in the mix than the original, and there are flights of modern guitaristry. It’s an original arrangement of an old classic.
There’s no denying Martin Cilia‘s guitar chops. “Misirlou” is a difficult song to do really well, requiring exceptional meter and power. Both are present in this version. While it certainly pays homage to Dick Dale 1962 single arrangement, there are some embellishments and later Dick Dale-isms too. Martin’s own vision is superimposed over the whole track. Quite nice.
Tribal tom toms and spatial guitar deliver a lovely and moody number that’s very engaging. It has sweeping imagery and a film score quality about it. “December Sun” is a splendid track with an attractive arrangement. The choruses ad to it, which is quite unusual these days. Simply superb!
Big whammy torture drives this insane rendering of Joe Meek‘s classic melody. It’s not like the Lively Ones’ surf rendering, but rather like The Tornados‘ assault with organ replaced by guitar augmented with grand glissandos and double picked lead lines. Completing the picture is a traditional surf beat in the bridges and tom tom thunder elsewhere. Very big and dramatic. In some ways’ it’s reminiscent of what The Ultras used to do with this song live, but mostly, it’s a very original arrangement loaded with power and flash.
“Twilight Surfer” is an easy sunset on the lagoon number. A fine melody and lush sound, along with occasionally stinging whammy, create a romantic picture of day’s end. Excellent!
The Atlantics‘ classic rocks with intense whammy and heavy power drive. “The Crusher” is more atmospheric than the original or any of the covers I’ve heard, yet it is very reverent. Yeah… it’s such a great song to cover.
Throbbing tremolo and atmospheric reverb, dark double picked gloom, and then a hand-clapper with chants of “hey” that based on Gary Glitter‘s “Rock And Roll (Part 2).” Quite fun.
A continuation of “Propeller” under its proper title. Same arrangement. More fun.