Dom Mariani and the Majestic Kelp — Hi Seas
(Sugarbush Records SB047, 2018, LP)
by Henry Schneider, Published 2019-02-14
Sugarbush Records has a winner on their hands with this new album, Hi-Seas by Dom Mariani & The Majestic Kelp. Australian Dom is quite the accomplished guitarist and involved with a number of bands since 1983: Dom, DM3, The Stems, The Majestic Kelp, and the hard edged Datura4. Now, if you love surf guitar instrumental albums, Hi-Seas is for you. The album kicks off with “The Spider and the Sailor,” with a pseudo dub rhythm and a 60s spy movie vibe. The next tune, “Sliver of Gold,” is another excellent track with a slow and melodic reverbed gothic Western guitar plus some interesting organ accompaniment. “Blue Olive” is pseudo-Hawaiian surf music with slide guitar and a strong beat. “Angel Angeline” has an urban vibe with a call and response slide guitar riff. Then we reach the title track that rocks you gently for two minutes and then vocals enter on the gentle ocean breeze “Walking on the ocean / Sunshine over me / Let the high tide take me / Follow the gentle breeze / Hi seas.” Side two begins with the dark “Song of the Boatmen” and its ship’s bell providing a death knell. Next is the rocker “Freeway Ace” with a fast Peter Gunn bass riff perfect for that road trip, leading us to a “Francisco Street.” A funky guitar riff, organ, and 60s melodic guitar instrumental that blends elements of “Dancing in the Street” and “Windy.” “Sweet Dee,” a slow moody instrumental love song follows. The album closes with “Walking on the Ocean (Hi-Seas Reprise)” with a ton of reverb, slow surf guitar, and the words “Hi seas” repeated eight times as you gently rock and slowly fade into the sunset. Quite a remarkable and enjoyable album!
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