Wild Tide/ Another Tear/ Western Dreams/ Endless Victory/ Ride of the Highwaymen/ Belair/ Desert Star/ 1979/ Boudoir Girls/Sandra (with golden hair)/ Kitsilano/ Atomic Guitar/ Sleep Walk
Some damn fine guitar playing from Mike
Beddoes underpins this wide-open surf extravaganza, recorded live for
good vibrations aplenty and packed with wistful soundscapes that would
fit any roadtrip perfectly. Highlights include a storming Wild Tide, getting this collection
off to a striding start; then there's the Western-inspired riffs of Ride of The Highwaymen and the
woozy lap steel that dances over an absolutely blissful cover of Santo
and Johnny's Sleep Walk.
Lovers of surf guitar will go wild for this sound delivery.
Local instro-rock maestro Mike Beddoes leads
his crack band in a collection of 12 trebly originals (and a
lap-steel-infused cover of “Sleepwalk”) that remind you why you loved
the Shadows and the Ventures so much in the first place. (Top Ten Albums of 2011)
Atomic Guitar was recorded live off the floor
in analogue at the Russian Community Centre on 4th Avenue in Vancouver.
Those of us old enough to remember will know this as the location of
the first incarnation of the Afterthought, one of the original
psychedelic clubs on the west coast. There are thirteen tracks on the
CD, twelve originals and a cover of Sleep Walk, a hit for Santo &
Johnny in 1959 and also covered by Jeff Beck. Although rooted in
earlier styles and recording techniques The Falcons are not a nostalgia
act. Their sound is modern, wide-ranging and innovative. In their own
words they play Canadian surf, western romance, barbed wire and space
crash. In the liner notes Jolly John Tanner says they catapult “you
into a perfect Tarantino soundtrack.” Their website contains a useful
history of the three great waves of instrumental rock and roll music
that everyone should read. Instros for the atomic age indeed.
The Falcons, based in Vancouver Canada, are
longtime instrumental rock favourites, with a series of great releases
over the years. This one is probably my favorite though -
12 original tunes, plus a cover of "Sleepwalk", that range from peppy
Euro-instros to slow, melodic ballads, with a few mid-tempo songs
thrown in as well. This is one of those rare discs that kicks off
at a high level and doesn't quit until the end. If I have a
teeny-tiny criticism, it's just that it ends with "Sleepwalk". While
their version is good, it's just been covered too much, and despite its
"classic instrumental" status, it pales in comparison to the other
(original) songs. It comes with a nifty mini-LP style sleeve. * *
* * 1/2
Canada's Falcons continue the fine tradition
of guitar based
instrumental music with a new 13 song CD, with 12 originals across the
spectrum from Surf to Western, car themes, girls ["Sandra (With Golden
Hair)", which features acoustic guitar], and of course with the title
tune, Space Age as well. The last tune pays tribute to what to me is
the greatest instrumental of all time in "Sleepwalk," with lead
guitarist Mike Beddoes moving to lap steel for this classic.
Originators Santo & Johnny are Canadians too! While I'm a great
appreciator of lyrics, lyrical guitar can open up spaces in the mind
that it's a great pleasure to explore - like diving into clear, cool
water on a hot sunny day. In fact that's a good description of the
experience of this CD!
Guitar: The Garage CD of the week.
It's been seven years but Canada's Falcons are
back at last with their distinctive and unique guitar stylings. It's
quite an achievement for an instrumental group to have such a
distinctive sound, but the combination of Mike Beddoes' finger work and
ringing tones really does give them a readily recognisable resonance.
All originals except the last track and it's a
big welcome back (after seven years!) for Canada's fabulous flying
Falcons! There's just something about Mike Beddoes' lead guitar sound
that gets me - totally unique, silky smooth, dream-like and so ooo oo
evocative and every track carries the trademark Falcons sound. Little
bit more raucous in parts than past efforts - the stonking "Belair"
reminds us of The Ventures "Peachfuzz" and "Atomic Guitar" itself is
the illegitimate son of The Pyramids "Penetration". That said, they
both have a lot new to offer. "Wild Tide" rides strongly and (our
favourite cut) "Another Tear" is just lush beyond belief. Not sure why
it has taken all this time but the band is as tight and infectious as
ever. There's a lot of instrumental releases this month (hurrah) but
The Falcons gets our vote as album of the year - yes, already!"
**** (4 stars)
Top du mois: The Falcons Atomic Guitar -
original instros plus Sleep Walk,
recorded live off the floor in
glorious analogue, by real musicians playing real instruments, Atomic
Guitar captures the signature Falconesque instro sound. Liner
notes by legendary Vancouver DJ Jolly John Tanner. Complete
with a handsome cardboard cover.
Available from iTunes, Amazon and more
“ From the
track’s crack of
the whip, Atomic Guitar
catapults you into a perfect Tarantino
soundtrack with miles of amazing scenery rushing past. A stirring First
Nations anthem driving across the plains. Classic mellow Spanish surf
syncopation where sudden shadows soar. Here’s finger pickin’ that
would’ve given Chet Atkins the chills. Welcome to The Falcons at their
Bedclothes Studios Mobile in action: The Falcons (Gord, Andre, Mike, Scott) recording Atomic Guitar at Kitsilano's Russian Community Centre, Vancouver BC
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