Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Jerry Cole - Hot Rod Twangin'dotdot
artworkI just have a hard time taking Jerry Cole seriously most of the time. His work in studio sessions most often leaves me cold. It seems to have little chemistry, and is often gimmicky. Some of these tracks were salvaged from vinyl, and not very well at times because you can hear quite a bit of surface noise on some tracks.
Picks: Hip Hugger, Pealin' Out, Mustang, Mambo Boogie, Twin Scramblers, Boss Hair, Ventures Venture, Super Charged, Sunset Strip, Shuffle Boogie, The Pursuit, Hey Little Girl, Bad Rubber, Night Rock, Twelve A Go Go, Cops And Robbers, Mojo, Diggin' The Blues, George Played, Oil Burner, Duck Walk, The Green Monster, Around The Oval, Along Came Mary

Track by Track Review


Hip Hugger dotdotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Booker T. And The MG's' "Hip Hugger" is done with more charm than many of Jerry Cole's covers. Very cool guitar work gives this a surfish feel.

Pealin' Out dotdotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Tires peel out before the band comes on. This very familiar song is a fifties style progression with reverb and sax. "Pealin' Out" is pretty darn cool for such things. Rich tone and solid energy.

Mustang dotdotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

"Mustang" is a fuzzy riff rocker with inspired guitar, given its film score Davie Allan wannabe style. You can almost see the grins on the faces as the guitars does its bikers on drugs thing.

Mambo Boogie dotdotdot
R&B Rock (Instrumental)

The guitar riff is similar to the riff in Buddy Holly's "Well All Right," at least in spots. More about progressions and chords than melody, with jammin' sax and standard sounds. Still, it's relatively infectious.

Twin Scramblers dotdotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Tremolo rules as "Twin Scramblers" honks and throbs along. A tasteful guitar line and moderate energy, along with an attractive sound gives it a catchy feeling. The double picked guitar in the middle is nice. Elsewhere, the guitar is low and gutty.

Boss Hair dot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

"Boss Hair" is a really meaningless jammy number based in blues. It doesn't rise to the memorable category in my opinion. What do you expect from a song called "Boss Hair."

Ventures Venture dotdotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Wet guitar tone nods to the stylings of the Ventures in some ways, with a melody line part "If I Had A Hammer" and part Ventures island surf. I didn't like this at first blush, but it does grow on you. The guitar work is excellent, and the Spanish flurries are very cool.

Super Charged dot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Screaming tires, sax, and a guitar pattern just don't create enough interest here. It's non-melodic and just not interesting beyond the first verse. The break is just noodling. This is one of the most unchanging tracks on this CD. "Super Charged" is based on a single repetitious guitar riff with a jammy sax. It really goes nowhere,and if it weren't for the engines screaming, it would be without dynamics. This is the sort of track that's pretty frustrating, because it seems like only the bud of an idea, and had it come to a real band. it likely would have evolved into a solid instro through the chemistry of the band members.

Sunset Strip dotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

The Beatles' "Ticket To Ride" is done with jazzy guitar and a very mindless studio session structure. If you never heard this, you'd be none the less for it.

Shuffle Boogie dotdotdot
R&B Rock (Instrumental)

Well, now, this is interesting! The melody is the same as Dick Dale's "Surf Buggy." Rock and roll with twang and an R&B root feel.

The Pursuit dot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Screaming engines and a kinds cool beat... but the guitar riff is not engaging, and there's a pulled chord that shouldn't have gotten past the producer. "The Pursuit" is really not very interesting.

Hey Little Girl dot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

King Curtis and the Noble Knights' "Soul Twist" wasn't all that interesting to begin with, and this retitled cover just doesn't add anything.

Bad Rubber dotdotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

The circulating riff is kinda interesting in an early fifties guitar exercise kinda way. While "Bad Rubber" is well played, it's a little too cutesy for my taste. The burning rubber doesn't help it t all.

Night Rock dotdotdot
R&B Rock (Instrumental)

Similar to Richard Berry's "There's A Riot Goin' On," this is a fluid blues instro with great piano and good guitar.

Twelve A Go Go dotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

The lead guitar is so subdued here that the melody is lost through most of the track, buried under a pallid backtrack. "Twelve A Go Go" doesn't go anywhere.

Cops And Robbers dotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

"Cops And Robbers" relies on a circular riff and a bluesy-rock structure. It's interesting at times, though it would have been much more effective without the car sounds and about 5 years earlier played in the Northwest by one of the jazz based combos. Very repetitious.

Mojo dotdotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

It is the Bo Diddley beat and the extreme fuzz bass that makes this cool. The fuzz bass almost spits at you! The lead guitar is buried in the mix. Rhythmically infectious and tribal. While it's very repetitious, the engaging textures really keep you plugged in.

Diggin' The Blues dot
R&B Rock (Instrumental)

A noodly guitar-sax exercise in the fifties jam mold. Not very interesting.

George Played dotdotdot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

The lead guitar is so submerged here that "George Played" sounds more like a backtrack than a song. It doesn't help that the melody line is very minimal. However, I would guess that a radically different mix would have served this song much better.

Oil Burner dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Echoed riff rock from a shadowy past. The same riff is repetitiously repeated, with only minor variations. Squealing tires and smoke do not save the track.

Duck Walk dot
R&B Rock (Instrumental)

Fifties sock-hop harmonies and progressions in a jam setting. Not very interesting.

The Green Monster dot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

"The Green Monster" is a blues-based number with a grode guitar sound and studio sax. The guitar lines don't evolve into anything interesting, and the engines just get in the way.

Around The Oval dot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

"Around The Oval" starts from nowhere and never arrives anywhere else. Really unremarkable.

Along Came Mary dot
Surf Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Chuck Berry licks abound pretending that "Johnny B. Goode" is original. "Along Came Mary" just bumps along was without ever arriving.