i want to start by saying that The Ventures rule. It is my official policy to purchase any Ventures records i can find in thriftstores and i usually pick up anything under $5, because it's always worth it. Ventures In Space is one of the best and i was lucky to find a great copy cheap.
It's the usual Ventures recipe: instrumental-driven surf music with a theme. The space theme is great. The songs are slow and creepy. It sounds like it could be the soundtrack to a Tim Burton movie if Danny Elfman didn't have that shit on lockdown. Think Tim Burton mixed with Hitchcock mixed with Star Trek. The album seems to be experimenting with all sorts of sound effects and synthesizers. It therefore has a psychedelic feel to it as well.
Ventures In Space holds together as an album. The songs are versatile but flow from song to song. "The bat" kicks off the album with fuzzy guitars, tribal floor toms, and a great ride-driven drum beat. The side ends with psychedelic-graveyard-dance jams "The fourth dimension" and "The twilight zone" (That's right. Get your ipods and your goth friends together for a 4am trip to Mt Hope Cemetery).
The second side of Ventures In Space touches down for a landing and grounds us with some poppy surf tunes that more resemble the first Davie Allan record than the first side of this one. But the fourth song "Fear" launches us back into space with a rather slow and sexy melody (Note: "Fear" can be played at 45rpm and it sounds sweet as well. i've actually been playing it this way on my dj night) and finishes off strong.
So if you're a fan good surf music but you have a soft spot in your heart for some things goth--maybe you sneak out to 80's night cause you got your eyes on a girl with black lipstick, i say ask her over and put on Ventures In Space. You can probably makeout with her.