This new release from the kings of smooth is fluidly gorgeous. The liquid lap steel work is spectacular, and the genuine suave of the bands sound leave no room for doubt that this is the best modern tiki bar band on earth. Taking the general direction set by the first few years of Santo & Johnny, and straining it through the modern cocktail glass of the grass shack set has resulted in a sound so smooth that it slides like silk off a maidens breast. Remarkably sensual.
LAST DAYS OF SUMMER *** Slippery airy and floatingly romantic, this track features a distant breezy lap steel under a gently played lead. This song has an instantly familiar feel, not that it's derivative, but rather that it is perfectly crafted in the style you'd expect from the composers of the original exotic era. The island imagery is 20-20. Quite a nice track.
SEARCHIN' FOR DA CAT *** Slightly more exotic, a just a breezy, this is a picturesque track. A cool drive around Big Island on a sultry day. Very pretty melody.
DEADMAN'S *** Eerie ambiance, moody organ, and dramatic sadness flow from this track with remarkable effectiveness. It sounds like it should have been on a Mancini album 30 years ago, but alas, it's a new song. Cool cocktail weirdness and kinky suave.
DROP THE HAMMER, MAX! **** Tribal George of the Jungle hula war toms, exotic chunka chunka, and a hint of Indian Puddin' & Pipe's trademark organ swirl. This is a damn infectious number, with spirited screams of joy, and a grand tom tom solo. You can see the bon fire, smell the poi, and almost feel the hula skirts. Yikes!
SHARKSKIN SADDLE **** This is the most surfy track here, and it uses a cowboy rhythm, and a cocktail organ, The melody is quite nice, and it is infectious. Occasional glissandos grace the transitions, and the whole effect is fun and cool listening.
TORTOLLA *** Don't let the feather weight intro fool you. They quickly drop into a tight little number with plenty of island feel and film score sensibility.
DRUNK MAN NOODLE **** Ominous tones, twisted visions, dark alleys, and big evil drums. It is a relentless menacing powerhouse track. Like a theme for Danger Man should have sounded. Large, edgy, nerve racking, and threatening.
DA CAT (REPRISE) *** That theme again, but oh-so sweetly allowed to leave the interments on a quiet tropical night. Great mood piece.
ELEMENT 86 **** Just the sound of near silence, fluid ripples, then an echoed dark menacing, and slide twisted tones like Jimi Hendrix on sedatives thinking about writing may This Be Love. Psychedelic, tribal, dramatic, playful, spacey, and pretty darn interesting. Like Victory At Sea for guitars and effects. Drums and wires creating images with sound without notes. Really quite powerful! It's a long track, and completely outside the pale of surf.
- Phil Dirt - Reverb Central