"Black Tie Spy"
(Review by Jeff Berkwits)
On their first CD since
2004, this aptly named Cleveland-based surf/spy band serves up an intriguing
blend of fresh instrumentals and familiar standards, spiced up with occasional
interstitial "instructions" voiced by a sultry Russian secret agent. The
title track is especially appealing, offering a stealthy melody augmented
by riffs from guest artist Vic Flick, the 71-year-old guitarist
who played on the original "James Bond Theme." The group also does a laudable
job on the 1960 classic "Apache" and The Ventures-inspired "La Tavola Da
Surf." Now and again the keyboards, which are present on about half of
the disc's 20 tunes, sound a mite too synthetic, but otherwise it's the
perfect accompaniment for an evening of spy-jinks and skullduggery.
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A long-time aficionado of retro music and movies, Jeff Berkwits
has covered vintage sounds for numerous publications and websites including
Pad Magazine, Filmfax, Outré, and
He can be reached at email@example.com.