The Wet-Tones: Mucho Reverbo (2004)
(Originally posted on Surf Guitar 101, July 13, 2004)
A band I've been digging hugely for the last couple of months is Italy's the Wet-Tones. These guys get NO recognition in the USA, but their debut CD "Mucho Reverbo" is REALLY good! Not quite reaching the lofty heights of "Dumb Loud Hollow Twang", but definitely one of the best surf CDs I've heard this year.
Another very trad 4-piece band, with a very appropriate CD title. The Wet-Tones will especially appeal to the fans of Satan's Pilgrims, the Nebulas and the Penetrators. Ten original songs and one cover (an instro surf version of the horrendously annoying and corny folk standard "If I Had a Hammer" - however, they manage to make it sound listenable! No mean feat, I might add...). The originals are consistently very good, combining great tones, a range of moods, often great melodies and imaginative arrangements. The highlights for me are: "The 7th Wave", an ultra-energetic, exoticly-tinged DD-like rocker that features a pretty spanish-guitar intro and the second verse with the acoustic guitar in the forefront, which was really cool - haven't heard anything like that in a long time. "Playa Piranha" sounds like it just escaped from a Penetrators album, all happy and playful with a big dose of reverb! "Lightning Strike" starts off sounding like the Fathoms or the Boss Martians, moving into a HEAVY DD-like part, and then back to heavily muted lead and rhythm, again followed by some intense double-picking. What a great way to combine both the DD and Astronauts schools of the surf sound. "Bonecrasher" reminds me a bit of some Space Cossacks stuff (if I may say so) with a beautiful double-picked melody that's not overly aggressive. "Surfin' the Casbah" starts off with a familiar melody, but then moves into some really aggressive and heavily reverbed double-picking that's just a pleasure to wallow in. The album comes to an untimely end (the whole thing is less than half an hour long) with a gorgeous ballad "Mucho Reverbo" that sounds a lot like the Bambi Molesters, or maybe some of Satan's Pilgrims quieter moments. Again, featuring an achingly beautiful and evocative mino-key melody, it's as good a ballad as it gets, especially as it shifts to a major key and adds a big dose of acoustic rhythm guitar at the end to bring the album to a close. Nicely recorded, with the authentic surf sound (mostly Jazzmasters with an occasional Jag, Twin amps, I think?). Great artwork, too. I'm really impressed with this album and this band. I've been in contact with one of their guitarists, Bruno, for many years, and he is a really humble guy, always telling me that they're not that good. What a crock! From what I heard here, I'd say that these guys are among the top ten surf bands in the world today. I haven't heard any other Italian surf band that I liked nearly as much as these guys. They're the real thing. If you want to get a copy, you should probably just contact Bruno, who is on SG101.
what a nice words! Ihope to go that way..better: thanx people at 101!