A side project from his full-time job as singer/guitarist/songwriter for garage punk revivalists the Boss Martians, Evan Foster's debut solo release is a textbook example of instrumental roots rock & roll six-string slinging. Heavily influenced by surf in general and Dick Dale in particular -- especially on the raging "Glass Packed & Fully Stacked" -- there are also more atmospheric moments to offset the rockers that dominate this set. "Venice, Late Night" is a dusky, low-key piece that incorporates elements of jazz and Spaghetti Western-style reverb, as does the lazy, windswept "Embrujada." As their titles indicate, both "Mouthbreather" and "Meanstreak" are more directly rock-oriented. The latter is a tribute to Rory Gallagher, whose terse, tensile style also influenced Foster's frills-free approach. No instrumental guitar album would be complete without a Ventures tribute, and "Slidin'" fills the bill. "Spy on Me" adds cheap keyboards to the mix and sounds like the soundtrack to a grade B, 1960's James Bond rip-off flick. Foster also handles bass overdubs, but some tracks don't even utilize the instrument, and with all the frantic riffing it isn't missed. Dave Davies' "All Day and All of the Night" lick gets a workout on the opening to "Where Do I Stand" but the tune then transforms into a raging rocker. Foster blasts off into sci-fi territory on the spacey "Sequence Array" and "I.D. Crisis," two of three four-track demos that sound only slightly more raw than the rest of the disc. There is even one (negligible) vocal as Foster repeatedly shouts out the title line to "I Want Some Sex" between Link Wray-styled power chords. A minor complaint is that although Foster is a remarkable stylist, he doesn't have a sound of his own, preferring to raid the technique books of those guitarists who have walked before him. Regardless, this is a terrific and wonderfully played album, that shows Foster to be a talented, even electrifying musician, with more than one trick up his sleeve.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Hal Horowitz