Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: The Dog's Bollocks Of U.S.A. Rock 'n' Roll Instrumentals Vol. 15dotdotdot
Volume 15 is a better than average edition of The Dog's Bollocks Of U.S.A. Rock 'n' Roll Instrumentals series. Plenty of vintage and rare material to digest.
Picks: The Beachcombers - Samoa, The Beck Brothers - Big Rocker, B. Brock and his Vibratos - Hang Five, Bobby Bush - Traumlande, The Centuries - 4th Dimension, The Dantes - Dragon Walk, Dave and the Detomics - Detomic Orbit, Al Hurricane and the Night Rockers - Lobo, The Montels - Exodus, The Newporters - Loose Board, The Progressives - Hot Cinders, The Raymarks - Work Song, Backfire, The Rebel Rousers - War Paint, Fat Man's Walk, The Rialtos - Like Thunder, The Terri-Tones - Go, The Tremelos - Jaguar, The Triumphs - Draggin' Wagon, The Valiants - The Valiant, Zorba and the Greeks - Shockwave

Track by Track Review

The Rugged Rock dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Very primitive riff rock, typical b-side fare. No melody, just a chord progression.

Shaggin dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Completely uninspired fifties riff rock. Cool piano slides, but otherwise, "Shaggin" is just a frantic jam.

Samoa dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is easily one of my favorite all time surf instros, and it's Richie Podolor on guitar and penmanship, of course. What a grand sound. The Mermen do this very well. It became "Quiet Surf" when it was recorded for the Rising Surf album. This is simply stunning, with rolling exotic tom toms and a totally different treatment than the more familiar Richie Allen & the Pacific Surfers' session.

Big Rocker dotdotdot
Presurf (Instrumental)

Tremolo guitar plays a fine little riff progression, while raspy sax does much of the lead work. It's more melodic than many early b-sides, but by 1960, instros were moving in that direction. This is one of the better of such tracks.

Hang Five dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Hang Five" is nothing like its a-side. While it shares the exuberance, it's only a jam. Frantic drums and loose energy, and some Egyptian lines in the break.

Traumlande dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slow island sorta instro with a gentle sound. The song is pleasant and romantic, with images of summer breezes on island lagoons. I have no idea about this recording at all, but it sounds like early sixties.

Shock Hop dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Shock Hop" is just a goofy riff rocker with stupid ghoulish laughs. It does actually have a melody, but is pretty forgettable.

4th Dimension dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

From the opening Theremin through the totally infectious rhythm guitar, this surf tune features three guitars, a damped super reverbed classic surf rhythm, a dryer chord playing rhythm, and a vibratoed and reverbed lead which issues sounds from behind the bridge while not playing a lead melody. Totally weird and utterly cool.

Zebra Shoot dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Crude jam rock, edgy with glissandos and wham, but unremarkable. More or less just chord progressions and mindless jam lines.

Dragon Walk dotdotdot
Jungle Fever Surf (Instrumental)

Echoed like Dick Dale's "Jungle Fever," "Dragon Walk" has the same kinda charm and tone. It's a fine instro on the edge of surf.

Detomic Orbit dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf guitar, cheap organ, and a gutty riff rock fun sound. "Detomic Orbit" liberates lines from a number of period organ singles.

Rear Buck
Rock (Instrumental)

"Rear Buck" is a circular umber with an almost frat rock structure. The riff is pretty cool, and the guitar farther out front than frat suggests. Some very tasteful licks, and a cheesy organ break.

Moe's Cast dotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Mostly riffy, this seems like it might be from the early days of surf when bands that didn't get it were adding reverb, or perhaps it predates the genre some. Either way, it's more fifties than sixties in style and structure.

Lobo dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Classic b-side twang, likely from the fifties, but with more melody and great drums. "Lobo" is very nicely arranged, and very genuine sounding.

Stand In dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This Australian 1963 track comes from a split ep. Neither side is particularly interesting, though there is substantial spunk in "Stand In." It sounds more like late fifties than early sixties. Rockin' piano doesn't elevate it enough to be a keeper.

High Dive dotdot
Riff (Instrumental)

This typifies riff rock - a simple progression played over and over. The "Topsy Part Two" drum break is cool, but otherwise this is backtrack waiting for a vocal or melody or something.

Exodus dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

In an arrangement based partly on The Lively Ones version, The Montels rock "Exodus" really hard. Great glissandos, double picked melody line, and sax breaks. This is a really fine cover of this movie theme. Beach Wood 2000 [Exodus c/w Comin' Home] 1964.7

Loose Board dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Loose Board" is essentially The Wailers' "Tall Cool One" done with surf guitar reverbed by echo instead of springs. It has a Chuck Rio feel to it.

Hot Cinders dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Stinging guitar intensely fires on all cylinders on this sometimes melody free power surf slam. Tuff rumbling Dick Dale-isms and double picked one note assaults! Great stuff!

Work Song dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Nat Adderly's often covered jazz instro "Work Song" is played in a softened variation to the Wailers' organ sound. It's interesting for a few spins.

Backfire dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This riffy R&B/jazz rocker is bouncy and fun. It's the kinda tune that would be used as a bumper - a bridge into or out of a break, or as a warm up. Lost of cool style.

War Paint dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

"War Paint" is all about the Indian tom toms and a delicate Indian melody. This is a lot nicer than I expected, and seems to be poised to join the surf ranks - it is 1961 after all. Cool drums and a fine melody, and even an interesting break. It's on the gentle side, recorded quietly, but it is nonetheless excellent.

Fat Man's Walk dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

A walking bass line under a "Bulldog" kinda riff with infectious chops and soft appeal, "Fat Man's Walk" is really quite nice. The dribbling double picking in the break leaves it on the bluff overlooking the surf.

Like Thunder dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Thunder rolls, echoed murky sound, and within... a powerful tune from Freddie Thomas and the Rialtos with pre surf guitar sounds and wild picking. Lots of energy, big beat, and an infectious structure. Some enterprising surf band should cover this.

Hold Up dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

A standard fifties progression.

Go dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a rambunctious b-side to "Sinner," but it has less charm and attraction of its a-side. It's frantic and raucous for sure, but not very melodic. Still, there's no shortage of energy.

Jaguar dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one cool surf number, with a "Bustin' Surfboards" structure. Very cool drums, and some nice reverb moments as well. Totally obscure, and rather cool.

Draggin' Wagon dotdotdot
Fifties Rock (Instrumental)

Raw sax lead riff rockin' progression song. Like many instros of the day that were rightly relegated to the B-side, this has no melody, but features really tuff drums and an onslaught of energy.

The Valiant dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Can you spell r-a-r-e! Not the best surf track ever, but really cool, and so rare that I'll never see an original copy. It has a very unusual melody line, and it has a certain appeal. Very nice track.

Church Key Twist dotdot
Boy Chorus Surf (Instrumental)

One of Bob Vaught's lesser tracks that's been comp'd before. A pretty straight version of an all too common tune with suck-dog vocal chorus work.

William Tell Spin

Baronet 11 [Spinathon c/w William Tell Spin]

Shockwave dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cool tune. The organ comes in notably late in it's first note, but the extended reverb kicks are too cool, and the reverb lead is quite nice. The melody is friendly and fun. This tune is infectious and seems to stay with you. It stands up to multiple listenings. The label was Golden State Recorders, a San Francisco based label run by the legendary Leo de gar Kulka. I don't know if they were locals or just came to the city to record.