steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Davie Allan and the Arrows

"Moving Right Along" CD

Spinout Records / Lifeguard Records

Genre: fuzz, surf, rock n' roll

California, USA

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 ("Frustration," "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


youuuuuuuutube!: davie allan and the arrows live

Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 14 tracks, distributed by the label, released June 2008]