Release date : Feb 18th 2013 (download)
I first became aware of the Elliot Easton’s Tiki Gods on a Del Fi compilation I picked up, that had their one track standing head and shoulders above all the others on it. Now, let me tell you….. that compilation had Brian Wilson, Insect Surfers and a young Frank Zappa on it. So we’re talking QUALITY here.
Other tracks appeared on the Henry Mancini tribute album “A Shot In The Dark” and various other compilations. Everything I heard, I loved. An added bonus for me was finding out Nick Waluska (Nicky Wonder) was heavily involved alongside Elliot. I jumped with joy at finding out a WHOLE ALBUM was now available. It was downloaded within minutes of being available! I couldn’t wait to get my ears around it, and I wasn’t to be disappointed.
Opening with “Tiki God’s Theme” is like a statement of intent. They are saying, “We like surf guitars and drums!” There’s also a hint of what’s to come later, with tolling bells and chants.
Rarotonga has a shimmering modulated melody with a bright, choppy guitar backing that leaves you weak at the knees when the gorgeous strings sweep in to surprise you.
Some female backing singers that wouldn’t sound out of place in a Sci-Fi soundtrack are juxtaposed with what was hinted at earlier…the tolling bells from A Fistful Of Dollars, hot burning sun, beating down over the chanting Ennio Morricone like “Blue Lava.” Cowboys in space riding surf boards! Now THAT’S a film I want to see.
The Brian Wilson instrumentation admiration is evident on the lugubrious, laid back “Mu Empire.”
“Tabu” has an American West Coast cool, with some great jazz licks Wes Montgomery would have been proud of in 1966. This feel is continued with “Jill’s Theme”, and some of the most beautifully defined guitar runs on the whole album.
We step up a gear with “Sir Surfalot”, and the pounding drums are back with what could be a TV opening title tune to a 70’s long lost cop show.
The best piece of music Burt Bacharach DIDN’T write is here on “Sydney’s Samba.” It’s a wonderful, dreamy, acoustic guitar led work of sublime artistry.
Remember those spy movies from the 60’s, when there was always a white open topped sports car, with the hero driving the gorgeous girl with the long blond hair around the hills of Monte Carlo? Well “Sabotagia (I Say Sabotage)” would fit perfectly there.
There’s an array of guitars chasing each other around the soundscape that is “Isle Of Canopic”, before the fine mixture of twang and acoustic on “Ballad Of Cowboyardee” are joined once again by the Space Girls.
This is such a great album from start to finish. To end with what can only be described as “musical erotica,” is a master-stroke. “Nocturnia” has a vibe of something dangerous lurking in the background. The danger comes in a mysterious wind, that seems to take the most wonderful 38 minutes of music I have heard in YEARS away with it.
The album isn’t a sound-a-like tribute to various musical favourites of Elliot Easton.. It’s jam-packed with original and exciting slices of music that can fire your imagination with surf, exotica, lounge, AND erotica, all mixed together for your listening pleasure
Wherever Easton’s Island is….. I want to be there.