Davie Allan and the Arrows
"Moving Right Along" CD
Genre: fuzz, surf, rock n' roll
Nov 21, 2008
According to Wikipedian wisdom, Davie Allan invented the notion
of "fuzz guitar." While guitar distortion had been pioneered before
him by Link Wray, Allan pushed
things even further to create what we now know as
fuzz. His musical endeavours then transcended the gap between
surf music and garage rock, genres he could claim dual citizenship in.
Allan's first single came out way back in 1963, so it's
pretty remarkable he's carried on, along
with his ever-rotating cast of Arrows, to this day. Indeed,
2008's Moving Right Along is a fun and rollicking record that
exudes just as much enthusiasm and energy as any similar albums from
the sixties. The album is predominantly instrumental, although five
songs have vocals in them - these ones also tend to be the catchiest
and subsequently most memorable.
On the instrumental end of things, Allan spits out several
gems as well as some less spectacular offerings. Classic "Bongo Party"
is a reworked version of a song Allan composed for two sixties
biker films, replete with a guitar, organ, and - yes - bongos.
Meanwhile, epic Dick Dale tribute "Vanishing Breed" and opener
"Slip-Stream" rock hard, and loose "Mood Swing" brings things down to
earth in a night-time desert sort of way,
heavily reminiscent of
several Friends of Dean Martinez songs.
There is also some unfortunate filler
"Stick It"), but it is in
the clear minority.
One of the most welcome surprises on Moving Right Along is
the presence of five capable pop songs. "Heartache" may bear a
striking resemblance to some Rockpile
output, but it is a tremendously boppy pop
anthem destined to join your humming repertoire. Dark and dense rock
song "Moving Right Along," meanwhile, has a remarkably infectious
off-kilter melody, and "She's Crying Too" is a send back to sixties
psych-rock. Finally, "Listen to the Guitar Man," sung by guest Lisa
Mychols, writhes along in its glorious merging of Ventures-esque
surf-rock and straight-ahead pop. It sounds
like it should accompany the trailer to an exuberant beach-party film,
and it is unquestionably the record's most memorable asset.
All things considered, Moving Right
Along is a delightful record from an unrecognized legend. Here's
to another 45 years, Davie!
davie allan's myspace
davie allan and the arrows live
[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by
released June 2008]