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SurfGuitar101 Forums » Music Reviews »

Permalink The TomorrowMen: It's About Time

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I just listened to this again after a break. It's amazing and you should own it.

Site dude - S3 Agent #202
Need help with the site? SG101 FAQ - Send me a private message - Email me

"It starts... when it begins" -- Ralf Kilauea

I second that. I've had this CD playing non-stop this week after a break from it and I don't see myself taking it out of the player very soon. One of the best CDs period. Beside the great songs and inspired playing and arrangements, there is a wild and spontaneous quality about it that makes it very exciting to listen to. And then there are the incredible guitar tones, effects and noises that send it over the top. I am mystified as to how Danny gets some of those clean sustained notes. This is the future of surf music....literally.

Thanks guys! No mystery on the sustained notes. I played through 2 amps. One a brownface Bandmaster with all the reverb and echo, and the other a mid 60's Harmony 420 (Valco) with the volume control dimed. Thus I get the tight punchy Fender tone and the compressed and sustained hairy tone in tandem. You can hear it as notes trail off throughout the album. We played a lot with that in the mix, it's not by accident I assure you. Full credit goes to former SG101'er Zak Izbinsky for suggesting this setup.

Danny Snyder

Latest project - Now That's What I Call SURF

"With great reverb comes great responsibility" - Uncle Leo

Danny, do you play live like this or is it really only audible in a studio mix? And, btw, I play this CD at least once a week, not only because it's terrific, but because it's inspiring. I may never reach your level of playing, but it's certain if I aim this high, I'll end up playing better than if I aim for less.

DannySnyder wrote:

Thanks guys! No mystery on the sustained notes. I
played through 2 amps. One a brownface Bandmaster with
all the reverb and echo, and the other a mid 60's
Harmony 420 (Valco) with the volume control dimed. Thus
I get the tight punchy Fender tone and the compressed
and sustained hairy tone in tandem. You can hear it as
notes trail off throughout the album. We played a lot
with that in the mix, it's not by accident I assure
you. Full credit goes to former SG101'er Zak Izbinsky
for suggesting this setup.

This is Noel. Reverb's at maximum an' I'm givin' 'er all she's got.

I do when the gig warrants it i.e. enough room on stage for 2 amps. If not, I compromise by using an overdrive pedal set relatively low in front of the bandmaster. (Tubescreamer just like Jake)

Danny Snyder

Latest project - Now That's What I Call SURF

"With great reverb comes great responsibility" - Uncle Leo

Noel, my level of playing isn't unattainable I assure you. Just takes some consistent practice. Writing songs on the other hand seems to be an innate talent that some people happen to have more than others - in other words they got lucky.

Danny Snyder

Latest project - Now That's What I Call SURF

"With great reverb comes great responsibility" - Uncle Leo

Check out this review posted on our Amazon page, it's very flattering that someone would take the time to write it.

To paraphrase Dorothy Boyd in `Jerry McGuire,' you had me at the intro.

It's rare when a song grabs you at the first note and then makes you hold on for dear life. Little Richard's Tutti-Frutti comes to mind; as does Anarchy in the UK and Wipeout. That initial blast of music and or lyric gets your attention, telling you the performer has something to say that is at once important and is also something you will enjoy. That feeling. that shock-and-awe sensation happened to me when I heard `Dr. Kilometers (Uncertainty Principle)' on It's About Time! by The TomorrowMen. What's even better is the feeling did not go away as I listened to the rest of that song and the other tracks on this excellent surf instrumental CD.

This album doesn't evoke the best parts of surf instrumentals, nor is it the case the band is channeling groups like The Chantays, Dick Dale and the Del-tones or The Challengers; to name but a few of the groups that were emblematic of this genre during the first era of surf music. To do that - to simply be technically proficient enough to imitate those sounds - is the stuff of cover bands and parodists. And, that is not what The TomorrowMen do. Instead, they - through the creation of original and genuinely well written, arranged and performed tunes are the once and future kings of surf music, bringing to us the sounds and the emotions expected and required. But, don't think the material is all retro-sound. While The TomorrowMen's music is firmly planted in the traditional surf music, the band uses this foundation to build a current feel into the songs which again serves to eliminate any sense the band is coasting along through emulation and duplication.

As good surf music must, the album takes the listener through the notional day-at-the-beach for a surfer. However, it's neither the contrived day of the 60s beach movies with Frankie and Annette, nor is it a relatively low-intensity-though-artistically-graceful day at Malibu. No, it's a more muscular surfing situation this music portrays: maybe Maverick's or Pipeline on the kind of day you have to work to reach the shoulder before the close-out. You especially get this ambience on `Maelstrom,' a song that lives up to its name and 'Curse You Fred Haines.'

And, for the end of the day - when you're a little bit sore and your eardrums are still throbbing from the pressure after the wipeout - there's some slower stuff like Midnight at the Chronolab and Claire de Lune. This latter song is a very, very good adaptation of a Debussy piece which - when facing the risks and perils of going down the path of transformation that can lead to bastardization - is a triumph not unlike Jeff Beck doing Bolero or The Who's Hall of the Mountain King. (As an aside, I've always felt there's always been a bit of a classical streak in surf music; think about how many songs incorporate French horns and strings!)
_
_One final note: you can dance to this stuff!

Danny Snyder

Latest project - Now That's What I Call SURF

"With great reverb comes great responsibility" - Uncle Leo

An excellent, well-written review, and deserved.

The Mystery Men?
El Capitan and The Reluctant Sadists
SSS Agent #31

Danny just hipped me to this album. We'd been talking a bit about Jazzmasters via PM and mentioned the album.

I'll have to be honest I know of Danny through the Meshugga Beach Party but that's about it. I always thought it was just Mel who did all the leads on the Meshugga stuff as well.

I listened through the album entirely this morning. Danny is an incredible guitarist w/ an equally impressive tone. This album has an aggressive streak that I would have tried to reach in my own music and this aggressive side reminds me of the Treblemakers. Aggressive yet very melodic and focused with tight playing.

The song writting is top notch. Very trad sounding but complex. This is the direction I wanted to Aquanauts to go in and again it's that spot the Treblemakers hit so well.

Makes me want to buy a tank and a big Fender amp again.

"as he stepped into the stealthy night air... little did he know the fire escape was not there"

https://www.facebook.com/reluctantaquanauts/
https://www.facebook.com/TheDragstripVipers/

Agreed. It's a fantastic album for sure. One of my favorites. Buy a tank, we need some more Reluctant Aquanauts.

The Deadbeats

Excellent review!

This album was my personal top pick for 2011. Such an amazing piece of music! I think I will listen to it again tonight Rock

Agreed with all. One of my top albums of last year!

Rev

Canadian Surf

http://www.urbansurfkings.com/

I know I'm a little late to the party on this one, but I just downloaded "It's about time" on iTunes a couple days ago, and have listened to the album about 10 times since. Holy cow, that is some amazing songwriting. Clair de Lune is amazing, just true enough to the original, while still taking on a life of its own. The tunes just flow so well while still being totally unpredictable. The harmonies are very modern, with a lot of doubly chromatically mediant relationships (roots of chords a tritone apart) which is one of the trademarks of the sound of modern american classical music (every John Williams score ever). I am going to stop myself before I go off on a music theory tangent, and I am just going to say, if you don't have this album, get it!

The Techtonics reverb nation page

Soundcloud page

Yup, same as me a few days ago.

I blame "Brave New Surf". I was at a show several months ago and Jonpaul pretty much told me "You MUST buy this CD" when they were selling them. It turned out to be an expensive purchase as I've spent almost 10 times that buying more music from the included bands.

Well, I guess that means "Brave New Surf" is doing its intended job. Smile

Johnny-O wrote:

Yup, same as me a few days ago.

I blame "Brave New Surf". I was at a show several months ago and Jonpaul pretty much told me "You MUST buy this CD" when they were selling them. It turned out to be an expensive purchase as I've spent almost 10 times that buying more music from the included bands.

Well, I guess that means "Brave New Surf" is doing its intended job. Smile

Mr. Green EXACTLY its intended job!!! Thumbs Up Thank you, Jonpaul, too!

And Agree completely with the above comments on the T-Men CD!!

Ivan
The Madeira Official Website
The Madeira on Facebook
The Blair-Pongracic Band on Facebook
The Space Cossacks on Facebook
The Madeira Channel on YouTube

Last edited: Jun 02, 2012 21:03:56

^^^^^Pretty much everything said above. Damn.....what an incredible album.

Will

"You're done, once you're a surfer you're done. You're in. It's like the mob or something. You're not getting out." - Kelly Slater

The Luau Cinders

Thanks Everyone! I'm glad you're finding the record worthy of more than one spin, that was our intent. Once you wrap your brain around the melodies a few times you can take in all the other craziness going on.

If you haven't heard it yet, you can hear samples from it on CDBaby

And by all means pick up Brave New Surf!!! (if you haven't already)

Danny Snyder

Latest project - Now That's What I Call SURF

"With great reverb comes great responsibility" - Uncle Leo

I still say that this is best album I bought last year... and I bought a LOT of good music!!

Johnny-O wrote:

Yup, same as me a few days ago.

I blame "Brave New Surf". I was at a show several months ago and Jonpaul pretty much told me "You MUST buy this CD" when they were selling them. It turned out to be an expensive purchase as I've spent almost 10 times that buying more music from the included bands.

Well, I guess that means "Brave New Surf" is doing its intended job. Smile

That is awesome,
though I wish people would buy the cds instead of the downloads of albums,
but I'm silly like that.

Jeff(bigtikidude)

So cool to hear all this great feedback! I think we've hit a real hot streak with the label. While I'm proud of everything we've put out over the years, I think if you pick up a selection of our recent releases, including the TomorrowMen, The Madeira, Frankie & The Poolboys and Brave New Surf, you'd be hard pressed to find any better examples of the current surf music scene. The difficult thing is moving forward, after putting out great releases like these!

Sean
Double Crown Records
www.doublecrownrecords.com


Surf CD's / Vinyl / Fanzines / DVD's
The Desolate Coast - Time Slips Away CD
The Surf Junkies - Meet... The Surf Junkies CD-EP
Frankie & The Pool Boys - The Wet Season CD
Continental Magazine - Issue #32 w/21 Song CD

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