Sir Clive & the Raging Cartographers, Guitar Safari

March 6, 2011


On this adventurous safaridisc, guitarist/bassist Pete Prown, drummer Phil Robertson, and organist “Count d’Farfiso” dish up 11 tracks of raging “surf” music that is, um, all over the map, sounding like combinations of the B-52s, Dick Dale, Carl Perkins, Hank Marvin, Link Wray, Robert Fripp, and Joe Meek-produced early-’60s bands such as the Moontrekkers and the Fabulous Flee-Rekkers—sometimes within the same song. Prown gets lots of nice tones and does some fine playing throughout—joined by steel-guitarist Jim Otis on the country flavored “Haybale”—and he mostly manages to merge the disparate styles in convincing ways.  Stand out guitar moments include the Randy California-informed harmonized lines on “Over the Top,” the vaguely Peter Greenish blues licks on “Quiet Blues,” the Beck-y bursts on “Hot Wings,” the exotic melodies and Fripp-inspired parallel sustained lines on “Attack of the Mysterons,” and the groovy twanged-out figures on the title track. Although few of the individual tunes are particularly original sounding—serving mostly as vehicles for Prown’s hopped-up soloing—taken as a whole the album has a great, upbeat feel to it and is loads of fun to listen to, especially when tooling down the coast in your Woodie. Self released.

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