Music Reviews

“tarantulas”

The Tarantulas

Monster Wave… 100 Feet High!

When I caught this Orlando three-piece opening for Dick Dale at the Sapphire, I was won over by their clean surf twang and utterly unpretentious stage banter. I was dying to hear them again, but they didn’t have a CD and I couldn’t find them gigging anywhere. This takes care of the problem.

The Tarantulas are a true instrumental band; the only vocals on the CD are three isolated words and a sampled sentence. The originals (all but one) tend to wind their way through complex sequences of simple passages, resulting in something a bit more avant garde than typically melodic (Los Straitjackets) or hard charging (Dick Dale) surf instrumentals. That said, there is no mistaking an authentic surf feel. It’s quite palpable here. From the sounds on the disc, one could conclude that the group is a last outpost of old-school surf. There are no technical fireworks or gimmicks, nor is there any sign of an attempt to update the guitar to post-modern bluesy grit or the bass to that annoying throaty twang. Instead, the guitar is as big and powerful as it is even and clean, and the bass is warm and in synch. The drums provide a manic, propulsive foundation for it all.

These guys are great. The surfing spiders on the back cover pretty much say it all.

Tarantulas, P.O. Box 2454, Goldenrod, FL 32733


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