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Phil Dirt Review of Rehearsal Recordings

The Madeira Rehearsal Recordings * * * * *

These 15 songs were recorded in rehearsal, but aside from the somewhat muddy sound, this could easily be a great album. The performances are stunningly good. The writing is superb. The covers are very well done. Some enterprising label needs to grab these guys before they slip away!

The Madeira are the new surf band from former Space Cossacks leader Ivan Prongracic. The lineup is Dane Carter - drums, Scott Waddell - bass, Patrick O'Connor - rhythm guitar, and Ivan Pongracic - lead guitar. Ivan, Scott and Dane are also members of the Troubadours, and Patrick is the lead guitar player in Destination: Earth! from Indianapolis.

Picks: Sun and Sand - rehearsal, Sandstorm - rehearsal, Express To Baghdad - rehearsal, El Caliph - rehearsal, Burning Mirage - rehearsal, Almoraima - rehearsal, Cordoba - rehearsal, Crescent Moon - rehearsal, Ricochet - rehearsal, Dilmohammed - rehearsal, Desert Drums - rehearsal, The Secret Route - rehearsal, Intruder - rehearsal, The Oasis - rehearsal, The Victor

"Sun and Sand" [rehearsal] * * *

This is a very atmospheric and haunting guitar solo that sets a mood of distant expectation. It may serve as an intro to "Sandstorm." Very pretty.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Sandstorm" [rehearsal] * * * * *

High energy and hard driving, "Sandstorm" is double picked low-E power with a scenic exotic quality. The glissandos remind me of Slacktone at times, but everything else is quite original, and stunningly played.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Express To Baghdad" [rehearsal] * * * * *

The Atlantics' classic album track "Express To Baghdad" is an interesting vehicle for the Madeira because its original blend of surf and the Shadows intensified is so well suited as a natural foundation for the power and intensity of this band. Very strong.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"El Caliph" [rehearsal] * * * * *

The drums and bass call up "Mar Gaya" as an underpinning for "El Caliph." It may be based on Randy Holden's masterpiece, but it's also quite original. Similar power and threatening stomp rhythm, but with the guitars' tone so different, as well as the advancing melody, it's really its own song. Excellent!
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Burning Mirage" [rehearsal] * * * * *

Beginning softly, "Burning Mirage" moves into a rapid fire pummeling of the desert silence. An assault on the sights and smells of the Bedouin camp. Dribbling surf guitar, and aggressive intensity.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Almoraima" [rehearsal] * * * * *

Moody and ominous, "Almoraima" is a scenic piece with a dramatic overtone. It's a very artful track musically, and the drama of Paco DeLucia's composition is startlingly augmented by the band.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Cordoba" [rehearsal] * * * * *

"Cordoba" is a faster song with an urgency that carries it forward. On the dangerous side, and melodically exotic, it is serious surf for a dangerous age.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Crescent Moon" [rehearsal] * * * *

"Crescent Moon" begins softly, but quickly evolves in to a moody and lush song with a circular melody line that's haunting and sad. It's a very pretty song with profound emotional content. Spatial and moving.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Ricochet" [rehearsal] * * * * *

Big drama and intensity fill every corner of this fine song. "Ricochet" is thick and melodic, and quite compelling. Structurally, it reminds me of the Treble Spankers. Excellent!
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Dilmohammed" [rehearsal] * * * * *

The Treble Spankers originated this song. The Madeira recreate it in a more thicker and more dominating arrangement. Big thunder and awesome drama.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Desert Drums" [rehearsal] * * * * *

This is an adventurous romp across the sands of a desert where tribal thunder commands the day. Great drums of course, especially in the solo, but the song is not all about the drums. The guitars splash and create drama and urgency. A wonderful track!
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"The Secret Route" [rehearsal] * * * *

Rhythmic and dramatic, "The Secret Route" is a slightly dangerous song with an uneasy sense of things just over the horizon. Dark, but also a little optimistic.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"Intruder" [rehearsal] * * * * *

The Surf Coasters' "Intruder" is played in complete form with both the gentle introduction and the fire breathing electric assault sections in full force. Stunningly well played. I think the Surf Coasters would be pleased!
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"The Oasis" [rehearsal] * * * *

This soft and moody song calls to the night with a savvy sense of sensuality, filtered by an outpost along a risky route across the desert. Dramatic and engaging, like a film score.
Surf Instrumental Stereo

"The Victor" * * * * *

The song that inspired Randy Holden's "Mar Gaya " is arranged with flair and originality, yet retains the intensely hypnotic nature of the song. Very Middle Eastern and moody. An outstanding cover!
Surf Instrumental Stereo

Phil Dirt - Reverb Central
PO Box 7240
Santa Cruz, CA 95061-7240

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