Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Canned Heat - Instrumentals 1967-1996dotdotdot
artworkThere's a very good surf roots reason for reviewing this release. Joel Scott Hill plays lead on three tracks, two of which he brought forward to Canned Heat from his earliest recording band, The Strangers. Much of this album is exactly what you'd expect from Canned Heat, but the two Strangers instros coupled with the utterly backwoods psychedelic "Parthenogenesis" make this rich fodder for the mill. I didn't review the "normal" blues material simply because it has no relevance here.
Picks: Parthenogenesis, Hill Stomp, Don't Care What You Tell Me, Caterpillar Crawl

Track by Track Review

Parthenogenesis dotdotdotdotdot
Blues Rock (Instrumental)

The opening and closing of "Parthenogenesis" is comprised of an ingenious jaws harp and low frequency feedback. It's very haunting and mystically psychedelic. The rest of the track meanders through blues, very heavy psychedelic, and monster rock. This track bleeds late sixties ballroom psych!

Hill Stomp dotdotdot
Blues Rock (Instrumental)

"Hill Stomp" is done as a straight blues rock romp, unlike the Strangers' original. Rollicking good time blues with hollerin' guitar and an infectious pumping beat.

Don't Care What You Tell Me dotdotdot
Blues Rock (Instrumental)

With flute in the lead, this slowish electric blues is saucy and catchy, with great drums and a nasty edge. Joel's guitar is excellent.

Caterpillar Crawl dotdotdotdotdot
Blues Rock (Instrumental)

In some ways, this 1971 live-in-the-studio track comes full circle from The Strangers' original. It's gritty and gutty and primal. Virtually all of the covers are reverbed, where this is raw and rock'n'roll cool. It opens with a false start as a rehearsal might, but they restart and it quickly becomes a nasty blues monster. The twang of the original coexists with the gutty blues of Canned Heat. Amazing!