Photo of the Day
Shoutbox

sysmalakian: Surf's up!
349 days ago

taku: sale
263 days ago

Skiltrip: SurfyBear is Life
256 days ago

sysmalakian: HEY
128 days ago

BearJW: Hey groovy people!!
127 days ago

ProfRadar: SurfyBear compact
102 days ago

dp: stuffing, turkey, pie!
61 days ago

ozboomer: Are we doing a Members Compilation this year?
56 days ago

sysmalakian: My new vinyl is available now!!!!
8 days ago

SurfinUsa2007: Everybody’s Gone Surfin!
3 days ago

Please login or register to shout.

Current Polls

No polls at this time. Check out our past polls.

Current Contests

No contests at this time. Check out our past contests.

Donations

Help us meet our monthly goal:

100%

100%

Donate Now

Cake January Birthdays Cake
SG101 Banner

SurfGuitar101 Forums » Music Reviews »

Permalink Spinning Spin the Bottle

New Topic
Goto Page: 1 2 Next

Frankie and the Pool Boys hardly needs any introduction. Nine out of ten hermits living in caves for the last 20 years still have heard Ewa, On The Beach, and more. I can sing the praises of F & the PBs to the high heavens, but I will say merely that they are about as solid as any Surf band currently producing music.

So, how is Spin the Bottle? If I were to reduce my description of this album to one word, it would be "range". Actor George C. Scott had range, he could play serious roles about men whom were facing the most serious of situations, yet he was a comic genius in Dr. Strangelove, which is saying quite a lot considering that we was playing opposite Peter Sellers.

Frankie and the Boys demonstrate the same degree of range and this album is no exception. Most of the music is upbeat, but even among the up-tempo tunes there is a wide range of mood.

  • Seafoam Angels starts out energetically but never goes over the top. It manages to have a mellow side without ever losing its excitement or driving beat.

  • Poser is a true rocker with an energy that reminds me of the early years of the British Invasion. The combo organ is used to especially great effect in this tune.

  • Smoke Jumper is hard to describe. There is a bit of everything in this tune. The verse seems to ascend while the chorus uses a descending harmony. The drama of a true Smoke Jumper is intrinsic to the song.

  • Spin the Bottle is a playful tune with great interplay between the combo organ and the guitars. The backbeat is insistent but there's a whimsy which keeps the song from taking itself too seriously. A well named tune if I've ever heard one. Lots of classic rock n' roll guitar in this one.

  • El Valenciano gets down to business right out of the gate and the energy level it bolstered by an incredibly fast and precise right hand technique. An incredibly powerful song with some interesting breaks to keep the tension levels humane.

  • Magic River seems to be carried by the organ and beautifully supported with very energetic guitar work.

  • The Wet Season sounds almost like a TV show theme from the seventies, as written by the likes of Mike Post. There's plenty of Surf sound in the mix, but the presence of wah-wah and the use of power-chords reminds me of the '70s in all of its polyester glory. (I mean that in a good way, I liked the seventies.)

  • Summer Cold is the slow, serious tune of the album and fits its name quite well. Whether the title is referring to meteorological or epidemiological phenomena, I'm not certain, but it fits either quite well. Mentally, I have the impression of an unseasonably cold and cloudy day at the beach.

  • Fast Loud Hard is all of what you'd expect from the title, but never harsh. The Surf pedigree comes through loud and clear, or perhaps more accurately, loud and distorted in a manner that reminds me of the late sixties, but not distorted to the point of losing definition entirely.

  • Hang 'Em High has a deep, brooding quality to it. The organ takes the lead in delivering the melody and the guitars lend just the right sort of support. While the organ is used liberally throughout the album, IMO this tune is where it really shines. There is a refrain where the guitars come to the forefront followed by a guitar solo that rounds out the piece.

  • Tan Line Fever has a classic First Wave quality to it with plenty of drip and palm muting. The song is the essence of 1962 in a bottle, plus some groovy organ sounds that drag it into the mid sixties every so often.

  • Kill Devil Club sounds raucous and unrestrained. It just sounds like rock n' roll guitar fun with nothing to interrupt the joy of just rocking out. It sounds like it was fun to play, and I bet it was.

  • Prayer Wheel has a quality which combines Surf sensibilities with a feeling which would have played well in '70s Rock, with all of its self-reflection.

  • San Quixote is classic Surf, but a Balkan sensibility seems to come through in spots which is a refreshing alternative to non-stop harmonic minors. (I'm going to have to experiment with Hungarian Minor scales.)

  • Raise Hell is anything but a hell-raiser of a song, but it is one hell of a song, with both harmonic and emotional depth. Some cool bells too.

  • Pool Boy Stomp is a freewheeling rocker with a great groove and lots of classic Surf era techniques. It is a fitting cap to a great overall effort.

The arrangements are mature and competently performed. Nowhere are there rough edges or places where the musicians sound as if they a flying by the seat of their pants. Likewise, the production values are excellent and one is never overwhelmed with effects or post-prod' tinkering. The music sounds neither overly raw or over-produced. It's easy to imagine any of this material being performed live and holding up well against the recording.

There is a strong presence of the combo organ throughout and it really adds to the sound. All of the instruments seem to achieve a great balance without any apparent effort. I would imagine that to be a testament to the arranging, but it also speaks very well of all the artists on this record.

The first Frankie and the Pool Boys album set a very high standard and anything else released by this band will have to bear up to the obvious comparisons which will be made. Spin the Bottle is a very worthy effort which will not suffer by following in the footsteps of earlier recordings by this band. Highly recommended.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Wow, thanks for the song by song review!!! It's good to know that people are listening closely! I have a lot of respect for fans of surf music, so we pour everything we have (heart, soul, money) into our releases. Enjoy!

LISTEN & BUY " S P I N - T H E - B O T T L E " NOW @ Bandcamp

My blog- Euro Tour Blog
Pool Boys on Spotify
INSTAGRAM
Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

Last edited: May 08, 2018 19:38:26

PolloGuitar wrote:

Wow, thanks for the song by song review!!! It's good to know that people are listening closely! I have a lot of respect for fans of surf music, so we pour everything we have (heart, should, money) into our releases. Enjoy!

It comes through in your music. I’ve been listening to and playing Surf since the sixties and know what I like. This particular album has the feel that I like, and a slightly more modern feel, but never to the point of betraying the original concept of Surf music.

IMHO, it captures the essence of Surf music without sounding like just another rehashing of that same old ideas. The overall sound is good too, not overboard on the ‘verb, which is a trap some of the newer bands fall into. The inherent variety of the album works well too; everything fits, but it isn’t all the same. Congrats on a very worthy addition to the Frankie and the Pool Boys catalog. When’s the next one coming out? Smile

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

synchro wrote:

This particular album has the feel that I like, and a slightly more modern feel, but never to the point of betraying the original concept of Surf music.
IMHO, it captures the essence of Surf music without sounding like just another rehashing of that same old ideas. The overall sound is good too, not overboard on the ‘verb, which is a trap some of the newer bands fall into. The inherent variety of the album works well too; everything fits, but it isn’t all the same.

God, that's DEAD ON, as far as I'm concerned! That's exactly how I feel, too! Well said, Synchro!

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

IvanP wrote:

synchro wrote:

This particular album has the feel that I like, and a slightly more modern feel, but never to the point of betraying the original concept of Surf music.
IMHO, it captures the essence of Surf music without sounding like just another rehashing of that same old ideas. The overall sound is good too, not overboard on the ‘verb, which is a trap some of the newer bands fall into. The inherent variety of the album works well too; everything fits, but it isn’t all the same.

God, that's DEAD ON, as far as I'm concerned! That's exactly how I feel, too! Well said, Synchro!

Thanks Ivan. I just wrote down my first impression as I reviewed each track, one at a time and expanded on that. There is some very cool music being produced these days.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Last edited: May 09, 2018 22:35:12

Great album ! My favorite is The Wet season, it's really unique with its crazy tropical 70's feel (hard to describe :lol:) ! Love Tan Line Fever, El Valenciano, Magic River, and Prayer wheel too (but all are good really). Thanks for the liner note pdf you included, it's really cool to see the guitar tabs and the stories behind the songs !

Yannick

Lead Guitar in Blackball Bandits : https://blackballbandits.bandcamp.com/
Solo project : https://thechollasurf.bandcamp.com/releases

Read ElMonstroPorFavor's review at Storm Surge of Reverb

LISTEN & BUY " S P I N - T H E - B O T T L E " NOW @ Bandcamp

My blog- Euro Tour Blog
Pool Boys on Spotify
INSTAGRAM
Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

Order "Spin the Bottle" from:
Double Crown Records
BandCamp
CDBaby
iTunes
Amazon

LISTEN & BUY " S P I N - T H E - B O T T L E " NOW @ Bandcamp

My blog- Euro Tour Blog
Pool Boys on Spotify
INSTAGRAM
Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

Thanks for listening!
We shot a video for "The Wet season", it'll premier in a couple days.

The_Cholla wrote:

Great album ! My favorite is The Wet season, it's really unique with its crazy tropical 70's feel (hard to describe :lol:) ! Love Tan Line Fever, El Valenciano, Magic River, and Prayer Wheel too (but all are good really). Thanks for the liner note pdf you included, it's really cool to see the guitar tabs and the stories behind the songs !

LISTEN & BUY " S P I N - T H E - B O T T L E " NOW @ Bandcamp

My blog- Euro Tour Blog
Pool Boys on Spotify
INSTAGRAM
Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

Would just like to echo the thoughts and comments that have already been very well stated about the new release by Frankie and the Pool Boys, "Spin the Bottle". It's a fantastic recording that brings in a great amount of diversity and, of course, a level of coolness that can't be overstated. This is a recording that all surf and instro fans should have in their library.
It's just wonderful and quite amazing how these musicians have continued to grow and remain on the leading edge of this music genre over the years.

Insto_Maniac

Really enjoying this album, especially with the use of organ on the songs. Loads of difference from tune to tune.

And a big shout out for the vocal version of Summer Cold. Straight out of the Lee Hazelwood/Nancy Sinatra stable.

Hello everybody I want to say something about Spin The Bottle.
I start saying that I am thankful to Ferenc and the guys to have produced such a great album, so colourful and filled up with melodies and fun that it is hardly comparable to anything produced in the instrumental music market today. Actually my feel is that Ferenc Dobronyi is the best world producer of instrumental music nowadays, because he does things that nobody does. Nowhere, with all due respect to any surf or rock musician, me included.

I can only compare Spin The Bottle with the two previous works of Frankie which already represent to me the best evolution of surf music since the 60s. I am myself in the "revival" sound, if you want to call it so, and I am a lover of the traditional surf. But I want to give an explanation about what I mean for "traditional surf music".

Surf is a very defined genre that cannot really be defined. That's it. Nobody can tell exactly what surf is. It's an "adult" genre invented by kids. You need to be an adult to comprehend what this is all about and where it came from. Therefore I am not much impressed by any band that has not previously demonstrated to be able to play Pipeline or Wipeout. You NEED those rudiments to be able to talk about surf music. Surf music is NOT "what you feel like it to be", surf is surf. Period. You know what it is ONLY if you have a deep knowledge of its roots which are NOT in the reverb (I co-own Surfy Industries but i say that reverb is not the key element). Surf goes deep (like any other genre when not improvised), you feel it in the notes, but you cannot describe it. When they ask you "is this surf music?" you know if it is or not, even when it does not fulfil the surf music "standard" sounds and schemes. But you know surf is there. Well, you need to search and buy a lot of records to gain that feeling. That's why I commented last year to Dave Arnson "not so many people listen to Pipeline anymore nowadays".

So we have a record, Spin The Bottle, produced by people, Dusty and Ferenc, who have largely demonstrated they know Pipeline well. Therefore their evolution and modification of the surf music genre is realistic, strong and "authentic", but you can still clearly feel this IS surf music. It's an "authentic" variation of the surf music genre.

So I agree with what Synchro said "IMHO, it captures the essence of Surf music without sounding like just another rehashing of that same old ideas. The overall sound is good too, not overboard on the ‘verb, which is a trap some of the newer bands fall into. The inherent variety of the album works well too; everything fits, but it isn’t all the same."

Please Synchro say it correctly: some people tell everybody they play surf music, but they have hardly listened to Pipeline, thinking it was "oldies" rather than saying that Pipeline IS and WILL ALWAYS BE the soul of this genre. It will never become an "oldie" for a surf music lover.

Sorry if I explain these feelings I have, but they really represent my review of this album.

Spin The Bottle makes me feel well. It's energetic, it's fun, it's groovy, it's trad sounding (please not the astronauts' style drippy rhythm which is not just "thrown there in the mix" but rather well studied and mixed to create that pushing effect), it has fantasy and creativity, it's new and it's old, it's simple and gets very difficult, it's a real mix of cool production techniques which glue the standard surf music pieces with a modern approach. If you listen to any single details, it is very well thought and produced, nothing is left undone. It's complex sometimes, yes, but it gets to the point, it works well, it flows well.

Some of us write and record music very instinctively. Ferenc instead thinks of every detail, he always finds that little thing to make it different, that little way to do it so that it's an original thing, new, undone before. And I re-link to what I said in the very beginning: Ferenc is THE producer of instrumental music in 2018. I would not be able to do anything like this and most of you guys would not be able too. Ferenc has magic in his hands, beyond the songwriting itself, it's the way he renders those songs in the record.

So: I love Spin The Bottle. Everybody has his own taste in music and it's ok like this. But I love this album, and makes me want to listen to it again because it sounds good. This is the bottom line.

Lorenzo "Surfer Joe" Valdambrini
(www.surfmusic.net)

These are great reviews! How do i myself like it? Well, since getting it from Ferenc almost 4 weeks ago, it STILL hasn't left my Cd changer, I've been listening to it almost every day ! Ka-whoot! ( I also think that 'Capt. Coconuts' was a masterpiece!)

surferjoemusic wrote:

So I agree with what Synchro said "IMHO, it captures the essence of Surf music without sounding like just another rehashing of that same old ideas. The overall sound is good too, not overboard on the ‘verb, which is a trap some of the newer bands fall into. The inherent variety of the album works well too; everything fits, but it isn’t all the same."

Please Synchro say it correctly: some people tell everybody they play surf music, but they have hardly listened to Pipeline, thinking it was "oldies" rather than saying that Pipeline IS and WILL ALWAYS BE the soul of this genre. It will never become an "oldie" for a surf music lover.

I agree. IMO Pipeline is the perfect example of Surf. Understand that song and you will have a good foundation for understanding Surf music. I've been playing it for over fifty years now and love it more than ever. In fact, I played it this morning before leaving for work.

The First Wave Surf coming out of SoCal had a certain swagger that so matched the times. It was a time when drag racing was the big thing and many young men had hopped up cars with oversized rear tires that they raced on weekends, 409 Chevys and 413 Dodges. Even in quiet midwestern towns, such as the one where I spent my earliest years, you could here the sound of a worked-over performance car peeling out when the traffic light turned green. The air as electric.

For us in the midwest, California was the destination, because for all we knew, all of California was like our dreams, Surfing, Sun, Sand, hopped up cars and beautiful girls in bikinis. Surf was the prefect soundtrack for this.

As I see it, Surf music is about zeitgeist. The late fifties and early sixties were a time of prosperity for many and SoCal was the best example. (I will hastily add that this was in incomplete view of matters. SoCal had its share of problems but these didn't show up on movies of TV shows of the time. For all we knew (living in the midwest), every inch of SoCal looked like Wilshire Blvd or the beach.) What did the kids in LA do? They went surfing and drove hot cars, that's what they did; and that's what the rest of us wanted too. It was the Great Okie Migration, one generation later.

So, for one shining moment, the music of Duane Eddy, Link Wray, Chuck Berry and Billy Butler (composer and guitarist on Honky Tonk) came together and with a possible boost from the Twist Craze fused into something new and powerful, just at the moment when reverb became a viable product for live performances. Surf was a product of both time and place.

It was Dick Dale at the Rendezvous Ballroom, it was The Chanteys on Lawrence Welk, it was numerous bands, comprised of young and talented players pitching their wares and finding acceptance. Jan and Dean 'took Linda surfing' and stoked the fires lyrically, teaching us the terminology and singing about the world of surfing but the instrumental Surf bands created the sonic backdrop.

Then lightning struck again, on the stage of the Ed Sullivan show and the youth of America became every bit as fascinated with Britain as their older siblings had been with Socal.

The magic of California did rise again as a driver of musical tastes, but this time it was Jackson Browne, the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt. A clean guitar with reverb would have been considered anathema and tube reverb units were hitting the pawn shops. Lightning never strikes the same place twice.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Last edited: May 31, 2018 10:43:11

SUCH great reviews by all, and I especially enjoyed Lorenzo's, even was quite amused by some parts of it, said as only Lorenzo can Smile , but I think he completely nailed it. I also agree with Dave Arnson, the CD hasn't left my player in weeks, since I got it more than a month ago, and I've listened to it almost every day.

Here's the short version of my review, just read this paragraph if you don’t have the patience for in my verbosity: it's Ferenc's best work to date, a true masterpiece, and my favorite surf album in years! At the center are the well-crafted and compelling songs which are also often surprising in the best ways possible, showing it is possible to STILL do something creative and new in this nearly-60-year-old genre. The musicianship by everybody involved is extremely high, all the songs expertly performed. The production is dead-on, clear-but-warm, with a lot of small touches and details which keep the songs interesting and surprising long past becoming familiar with them - there's always something new to hear if you pay attention. It’s deep music but it doesn’t require deep listening to enjoy – though it certainly rewards it! It's an album that has a vibe and attitude and confidence which I think is rare - it knows it's a TON OF FUN and that if you give it a chance, you'll almost certainly fall in love with it!

Ferenc and I have been friends and even occasional collaborators for many years (twenty, I believe!), and that is not an accident. I have an enormous amount of respect for him. He always delivers. Every time he does something new it shatters my expectations and shows him to be a truly talented musician. So, I definitely am biased when it comes to his work, no question about it, but I think I'm biased for the best reason of all: I already know him to be an exceptionally creative person whom I admire a great deal, so my expectations are always high.

At the center of the album is Ferenc’s guitar playing which just keeps getting better with every new release. It has always been great, but he still continues to find a way to improve it! It is particularly full of fire and passion this time around, with a guitar tone has never sounded better - sometimes crunchy and aggressive, other times beautifully clean-yet-complex, with a lot of detail and warmth. (It must be the new brownface Bandmaster that he got at the SG101 Convention a couple of years ago from Danny Snyder. What a sound!) One remarkable thing about his playing on this album is that over the years he’s developed an uncanny ability to sound like a steel guitar, using the Strat’s tremolo arm. He’s really become an expert in that technique – which of course was Leo Fender’s original idea when designing the Strat’s vibrato/tremolo system in the first place, to allow the player to emulate steel guitar (which was highly popular in the early ’50s). Ferenc has done astoundingly well with that technique, and it’s not one I hear very often, so truly well done, my friend, very impressive!

I gotta also shower with kudos Jonathan on drums and Abe on bass, the rhythm section of the Deadbeats who have now also become the Pool Boys, and both sound amazing, like real pros, belying their young age. Abe is often playing lines that one would expect from a much more mature and experienced musician, and Jonathan sounds positively Dusty-like in many places of the album. They don’t only provide the solidity to the album, but lot of its fire, too, a remarkable feat!

Karen on the organ (and occasional piano) and Jono (formerly of Pollo Del Mar) on rhythm guitar are both highly competent and dependable, and play their parts with precision one would again expect from highly seasoned pros. Karen in particular shines in many places of the album, often trading leads with Ferenc or sometimes even taking over the lead completely! Both Karen and Jono are also very tasty players, as well, and know when to lay back and just support the song rather than vie for attention.

If I start seriously dissecting this album, I could write a short book - but I’m quite sure NOBODY wants that! Smile So, let me just mention a few of my favorites:
“Seafoam Angels” is grand and uplifting, and effectively sets the mood for the entire album (and what a fantastic title, love it!).

“El Valenciana” is a fantastic, Latino/Hispanic-influenced song with exceptional playing by everybody. It features a highly dynamic guitar performance, some of my favorite playing by Ferenc ever! (Though, I gotta say that the drum part played by Jonathan reminds me more than a bit of the drum part played by the Madeira’s Dane Carter on our song Sahar. Coincidence? Hmmm… Smile )

“Magic River” – I love the choice of the cover (one of the two covers on the album) of this obscure Surf Coasters song. Surprising and unexpected, but absolutely perfect for the band. It comes from the “L’esprit” album from 2002, one of the two ‘organ’ albums by the Surf Coasters, and it gives a chance to Karen to shine playing the upbeat melody over a groovy Bo Diddley beat. Ferenc gets to revisit the main guitar hook from his classic “Ewa on the Beach” song in the bridge of this song, which is a very nice touch. This really is a fantastic song, but one that only the most hardcore Surf Coasters fans would know (which Ferenc certainly is!), making it so much cooler!

“The Wet Season” is my absolute favorite song from the album, its ‘pièce de résistance’, and in fact, one of my favorite new surf songs in years! It’s an incredibly dynamic song, with Ferenc’s possibly best-ever guitar playing (LOVE all the open-string pull-offs!), featuring a super-fat and yet sharp-and-cutting guitar tone that just exudes confidence and attitude. It actually reminds me a bit of some of the great songs from the classic “Searider” album from 2008 by the Swedish surf band the Barbwires, one of the all-time-great surf albums, as far as I’m concerned, certainly of the modern era. There’s a sense of epic scale and grand proportion with this song which matches or even outdoes the Barbwires. It also features one of the best bridges in a surf song I’ve heard in a long time. It really opens up the song, lifting it to the next level, reaching transcendence! Too few surf musicians exploit this songwriting device, as far as I’m concerned, but I personally think bridges are extremely valuable to keep a song dynamic and interesting. And Ferenc absolutely nails it here, it is just perfect. The song is also filled with many little details that make it so much fun to listen to, even if you’re not paying very close attention, you can still just pick it out ‘out of the corner of your ear’! I love the bits of feedback in the song; the wah-wah which works so incredibly well (I never would have expected that!) and which gives it a bit of that ‘70s-crime-movie feel; and then the final verse with the double-picked call-and-response guitars which eventually join into a cool harmony as the rhythm becomes increasingly syncopated, building towards a climax, with finally the lead guitar going off the fretboard, climbing higher and higher – what a perfect, even inspired touch! So, so great overall! Immortality earned, Ferenc (though you already got there with a few previous songs)!

“Summer cold” is an evocative, gorgeous ballad with ingenious playing by Ferenc. On the first few casual listens I honestly thought Ferenc had a guest player playing steel guitar, until I listened more closely and realized that it’s actually him making highly effective use of that Strat tremolo arm! So, so beautiful!

“Fast Loud Hard” is a hard-rockin’, even punky, tune which seems to have been influenced by the Surf Coasters. The beat, the guitar licks, the guitar tone, the overall energy and vibe, all scream the Surf Coasters to my ear – and the band completely does them justice, which is a pretty amazing thing if you know anything about the Surf Coasters!

“Tan Line Fever” is the most trad-surf song on the album, and is just SO much fun, a total blast! It really was the perfect choice for the flip-side of the “Ewa on the Beach” single recently put out by Hi-Tide Recordings. It features the signature Astronauts beat, their ‘booch’ rhythm guitar, and the lead guitar part played in their the muted single-line style, with wet reverb splashing all over the place! It also has a melancholy feel that surf music often so effectively turns into something upbeat and uplifting. But despite being traditional-sounding, it’s still completely unique, exuding Ferenc’s personality! Even when he’s trying to sound traditional, he still ends up sounding like himself, and that’s actually a GREAT thing!

“San Quixote” sounds to my ears as a bit of a tribute to Insect Surfers. I believe Ferenc has been quite open in the past about Insect Surfers being a big influence on him, especially back in the Pollo Del Mar days (for example see their great song “Insectide”). I hear some of the same vibe and similarity of approach to lead guitar, the chord progression and the rhythm, to what I’m used to hearing on Insect Surfers records. And it’s a freakin’ KILLER tune – as are the next two, “Raise Hell”, another extremely pretty melancholy-but-happy quasi-ballad, and the sheer fun and energy blast of “Pool Boy Stomp”!! But then, I really think ALL the songs are killer, there’s no weak moment on this amazing album! It ends with the four bonus vocal versions of the songs which are a ton fun, but my heart lies with the instrumentals, so I better bring this review to a close. I’ve run out adjectives, anyway! A truly amazing job, Ferenc and the Pool Boys (and Girl)!!

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 07, 2018 04:38:17

Ivan, thanks for the stunning and passionate review. I know how busy you are, and completely appreciate the time you took to write this. As you might say, "I'm completely blown away by this!" See you in Livorno! - Ferenc

LISTEN & BUY " S P I N - T H E - B O T T L E " NOW @ Bandcamp

My blog- Euro Tour Blog
Pool Boys on Spotify
INSTAGRAM
Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

Review from another thread:

scruzdj wrote:

image

REVIEW: Frankie & The Pool Boys - Spin The Bottle
By Adrian Cavlan

It was a great day when this one arrived in the mail, and having a little inside info on what went into the prep for this recording and who they were having produce it (Dusty Watson) made me very anxious to hear what Ferenc and his crew had cooked up this time. Let me just say that I was not disappointed!

I am happy to report that these folks are doing the San Francisco Bay Area proud in representing the current surf scene. Overall this is a fantastic production, featuring excellent tones and sound, as well as imaginative orchestration. Also notable is this production’s (and Ferenc’s guitar in particular) fearless yet tasteful use of effects throughout. Really, these are lush soundscapes considering that they're staying within the boundaries of songs and generally in the surf realm (i.e. not veering into psychedelia, for example). I also would specially compliment the work of the rhythm section: Abraham Aguilar on bass and Jonathan Rodriguez on drums are really drum-tight throughout, playing propulsively and tastefully to give this production a solid sound.

The CD package of this album is also fully rendered, with some nice liner notes and the typically excellent cover art we have come to expect from Fred Lammers in this wallet-style package.

And, last but not least, the most innovative touch of all: second versions of four of the songs that are vocal versions! Who does that?! I can't say that those are my favorite songs on the record, but you have to hand it to them for thinking of doing it. It is cool and unique.

So, let me give you a few brushstrokes on a number of the songs on it:

Right out of the gate, I love the The Who-like intro to Seafoam Angels! Great opening track that tells you right away this is not going to be a trad-only outing.

That said, Smoke Jumper features a melody that hearkens back to more traditional surf with a little bit of that organ in there.

One time Ferenc and I were talking and he said to me “You know what? Sometimes people just wanna dance!” I’ll venture that he had this title track in mind when he said that! Bouncy guitar stabs and a great organ melody from Karen propel Spin The Bottle forward and get the hips moving. And what's that - hand claps? Yep this one will definitely get you moving!

I love the Bo Diddley beat on Magic River as well as the fact that at this point in the record, Karen is taking about half of the melody lines in these songs on her keyboard. What a dynamic duo these two are! Throughout the entirety of this record, I am really appreciating the melodic handoffs between the guitar and the organ. Great stuff.

And here’s The Wet Season with the fearless use of the wah-wah pedal! In surf music? Yes! Here’s the evidence! This is another one of their songs that I remember well from their live sets in Italy, and this track features some of France's most ripping guitar work on this CD. And, in the all too overlooked aspect of artful sequencing of songs on a CD, I love how the ending of it segues into the country-esque acoustic guitar at the beginning of Summer Cold.

I absolutely love this track. For me, it evokes a little bit of the Shadows, and Jono Jones’ excellent acoustic guitar work here is what sets it apart.

Feedback? Pick scrapes? Yep both here in Fast Loud Hard. Again this record has no fear in going everywhere this genre can touch.

For me, the slow, slinky Hang Em High recalls and builds upon the melody we heard a few songs ago on The Wet Season. I dig it, and funny enough, I can't help but hear a snippet of the Gilligan's Island theme in this melody! “The Millionaire… and his wife…”. It’s fun! And tell me... What the hell is wrong with Gilligan's Island? Absolutely nothing! That's what.

And how about some string bending? Again - stuff you just don't hear on the “average” surf record.

And now Tan Line fever, the single off of this CD so far. Relatively conventional on the surface, but very well done. And the video for it is an absolute hoot - once again Ferenc cooking up something totally original by setting this song to a fun Photoshop demo. It's excellent. Look it up on YouTube.

San Quixote has a good, aggressive guitar tone that could be construed as somewhat menacing except for the major key of the composition keeping it from seeming too harsh or serious.

And, lastly, we welcome the return of the acoustic guitar on Raise Hell, evoking California Health And Happiness-era Mermen a little bit in the orchestration, composition and drum parts on this one.

Let me conclude by saying that as an artist myself, I stand in awe of the amount of work it takes to make a record this ambitious. It stands proudly as a next chapter in Ferenc Dobronyi’s paean to the surf music he loves. Here’s hoping that Frankie & The Pool Boys continue to evolve, surprise and dare their way forward in the years to come.

LISTEN & BUY " S P I N - T H E - B O T T L E " NOW @ Bandcamp

My blog- Euro Tour Blog
Pool Boys on Spotify
INSTAGRAM
Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

A review posted by Mr. Raleigh Fontaine on Facebook:

Raleigh Fontaine
August 15
Instro/Surf music has two sides, neither exclusive. One side is The Thunder. These are the bands that are the musical descendants of Dick Dale. Think, The Madeira, The Nebulas, Team Void and Genki Genki Panic. The other side is The Atmospheric, bands that hew closer to melody like The Ventures and The Shadows. Most surf bands take from both sides of the tradition. Some bands own the whole road,
Ferenc Dobronyi has created a masterpiece that crosses the lines, and that’s a very good thing. Leader of the Pollo Del Mar and The Tomorrowmen, Dobronyi has taken time out to work with another of his bands, Frankie and the Pool Boys, to record Spin the Bottle. The twenty tracks are a tour of the breadth of Instro/Surf, hitting rockers, twang, romance and exotica without making it seem like a mere history lesson. It’s as fresh as a morning breeze off a summer beach.
There are cuts here to satisfy the hard rocker with Poser, Smoke Jumper, El Valenciano. Each of these are asphalt ready for cruising. Fast Loud Hard lives up to its name.
Tan Line Fever uses drip to perfect musical effect before changing gears to the electric organ. Seafoam Angels invokes a Shadows feel, with Ferenc’s technical ferocity on display. The Wet Season and Summer Cold could both work behind a Sixties thriller movie montage, the later for the heartbreaking romantic interlude.
The writing and playing are all top notch. What sets Spin the Bottle apart is the quality of the arrangements. There are other bands who bring an encyclopedic taste to play. Rondo Hatton is a good example. But Ferenc Dobronyi has managed to work something fine and sophisticated in this release. In 2016, Mark Fontana of the Blue Hawaiians worked similar magic on Wonderlux Presents Christmas Eve, where, it too, was a showcase of the arranger’s art. Fontana’s work was exceptional. Dobronyi hits high marks on Spin the Bottle, managing to channel a host of influences, but never indulging in parody or simple mimicry. Even the vocals work. Any one of them sound like they could have been Top 40 hits in the Sixties or Seventies.
What Dobronyi has really done is make a jukebox of modern Instro/Surf. You could sit down and listen to this straight through for an immersive experience, or put it on shuffle in the background of an afternoon barbeque. It would work equally well both times. It is rare when an album is created to work on so many different levels.
You don’t need luck. Spin the Bottle is a winner.
Mahalo

LISTEN & BUY " S P I N - T H E - B O T T L E " NOW @ Bandcamp

My blog- Euro Tour Blog
Pool Boys on Spotify
INSTAGRAM
Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

Here's a review from the Fall edition of Pipeline magazine, by Alan Taylor:
image

And very proud to share the #1 chart position with The Madeira and Jon & the Nightriders! Wow- great company and good friends!

image

LISTEN & BUY " S P I N - T H E - B O T T L E " NOW @ Bandcamp

My blog- Euro Tour Blog
Pool Boys on Spotify
INSTAGRAM
Frankie in Frankie & The Pool Boys
DJ Frankie Pool Boy on North Sea Surf Radio
Phayrentz in Pollo Del Mar

The Fontaine review is spot on. I think you got a winner, here.

The artist formerly known as: Synchro

When Surf Guitar is outlawed only outlaws will play Surf Guitar.

Goto Page: 1 2 Next
Top