I love it when a new release slides into my hands during my radio show. Without more than 3 seconds of screening beforehand, I hit play on "North Bank of Lost River", which starts with an envigorating swell... then loud prominent vocals. It's an instrumental radio show, so I jumped a bit, but I was actually pretty durn excited about the instrumental underneath. When I got a change to listen to the entire thing, I found that the majority of the tracks were still instrumental, and a great improvement over the already quite enjoyable "Dragstrip Murder Mystery". The first track alone, "Dust from the Sun" has a genuine sentimentality to the guitar tone that reminds me of The Shadows best moments. That doesn't end with the first track. Despite the overall spaghetti western direction on the album, "Sharkbait" is a towering straightforward surf number where the Surfaders' two guitarists do a great job of working off of each other and giving each other room to impress.
The album as a whole feels like it has a lot more direction and intention than their previous effort, and really great songs build around that purpose. Personally, I did find that the vocals were distracting and unnecessary (I'd love to hear "Dust from the Sun" without them) but I'll be the first to admit that that's a predictable criticism coming from me. It's still a helluva record.