Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: El Toro Sampler - The Retro Sounds You Need - Instrumentalsdotdotdotdot
artworkThis is a great collection of instrumentals... more fun than squishing tadpoles and quite varied.
Picks: The Brillantina's - Klezmer Queen of Swamp, Rocky Burnette - Que Lastima, The Fabulous Plank-tones - Swellwoody, The Longboards - Motorhythm, Going Nowhere, Gnarly Surf, Peyote, Lost Acapulco - Acapulco Golden, Los Lost Acapulco - Calaveras del Justicio, Los Twang! Marvels - Rancho Cucamonga, The Montesas - Vendetta '62, Rockhar, The Nu Niles - Dom, Da Surfones - Tempesta, Superespia Juan, The Tumbleweeds - Humble Deeds, Holy Smoke, The Vibrants - Vibrant, El Cuatrero, Los Walkysons - Tabernas, Arrabassada

Track by Track Review

Hold On
Frat (Instrumental)

"Hold On" is a frat rock progression with whirling organ and crunchy fuzz, with line-by-line chants of "hold on" from the girls. It's a long way from here to melody, and aside from the sing-along chunk attraction, it's completely forgettable.

Klezmer Queen of Swamp dotdotdot
Frat Klezmer (Instrumental)

The organ gurgles like a sick puppy as the undulating Klezmer beat pumps behind. Not just disturbed, but down right unnerving, yet attractive as if you can't turn away. Quite interesting.

Que Lastima dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Rockabilly charm and Spanish flair purvey fun and drama. Very cool drums, a simple haunting riff, and no pretensions. Too fun!

Night-Riding dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Night-Riding" has a fine surf melody and dribbling glissandos. The AABA structure is classic surf instro. It's a warm and inviting song with surf written all over it. Very good!

Slant Six dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

The shimmer of dual vibrato guitars brings a countrified shine to "Slant Six." The melody riff is kinda circular, meandering around an afternoon escape.

Man From P.L.A.N.K. dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Aggressive crunch and surf, with a low-E twangy riff. The thunder of the rhythm section gives it a heavier than thou sound, a menacing pound. More riff than melody, but a whole bunch of power. The lead work is modern is nearly commercial spots, grindy in others.

Swellwoody dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an excellent track, with a spunky and fun guitar riff and punchy drums just a little ti up front in the mix. "Swell Woody" is splashy and even a little Spanish feeling. Nice track.

Motorhythm dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Big double picked thunder and drum drama. "Mar Gaya" riffs pummel with pomp and power cycles. "Motorhythm" is highly original in its arrangement. This is just superb!

Going Nowhere dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great tribal drums and danger ooze from "Going Nowhere" with charm and compelling sound. Non traditionally structured, edged with dissonant warble, wonderful tortured chords, and a fluid melody, and elements of spaghetti western. I like this a lot.

Gnarly Surf dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Longboards drive "Gnarly Surf" through dark dissonant surfisms strained through an asylum. This is disturbed and yet compelling. Fun and unsettling too.

Peyote dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Muted rhythms a la The Ventures' go-go surf period, "Peyote" writhes with churning guitars and big fun. It strikes you right from the start, and stays there. Very rhythmic and percussive. Brilliant!

Acapulco Golden dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Davie Allan-ish intro with pick slide yields to a fuzzy biker rock kinda track. Heavy and open road friendly.

Calaveras del Justicio dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dry surf with a fine surf beat and a mournful melody line. A spaghetti western-ish melody and subdued drama permeate "Calaveras del Justicio." This is an excellent track.

Rancho Cucamonga dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very spirited and happy song, with great drums and flying guitar. "Rancho Cucamonga" grabs you instantly, and doesn't let go. Did I mention the drums? Totally great! The bass throbs and the guitar simply soars.

Guitars In Orbit dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Guitars In Orbit" is a rompin' number in the tradition of early rockin' boogie instros, echoed guitar and all. Lots of grinnin' energy and fun.

Vendetta '62 dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

"Vendetta '62" is a splendidly fun rockabilly romp. It's infectious, very playful, and sports really fine plucking. The more you listen, the more you like this. Superb!

Rockhar dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow distortion danger and very cool percussion combine for a compelling ride down the flue from the mill... funny narratives and effects add a cinematic quality. "Rockhar" really grows on you - much more fun after a few listenings.

Dom dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dark twang and big drama, with upright bass, great tribal drums, and a very cool undulating riff. Surfabilly charm and style. "Dom" is an excellent track that will charge your battery!

Tempesta dotdotdot
Beat Generation Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very pretty tune, with strong loud lead guitar. It blends a few elements not often together, a soft almost MOR rhythm guitar, and dramatic inspired drums. The bass is solid and appropriate for the piece. The many changes keep it lively. Unusual and interesting. This is listed as "Solo Surf" on the sleeve.

Superespia Juan dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an excellent song with a sad undertone and optimistic surf melody line. Playful, open road adventurous, and summery. The sax break is very tastefully done. Long ringing chords complete the picture.

Humble Deeds dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Tumbleweeds play a dry, delicate, surf-based instrumental with an interesting melody line and an underdeveloped arrangement. Tribal drums in the break, mariachi horns, and bullfight drama. Very promising!

Holy Smoke dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Tremolo throb, tasteful lines, and an original sound. "Holy Smoke" is charming and warm, and is augmented with hand claps. Growing on you, it moves from just curious to enjoyable. Quite nice.

Vibrant dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Vibrant" is a romping surf number with the feel and fury of vintage surf. The melody line is very period, the whammy chords perfect, and the drums right on. Very cool!

El Cuatrero dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This traditional track is a splendid example of the easy fun and celebrative joy of Spanish music. Bouncy, exuberant, and pure fun. You can not dislike "El Cuatrero."

Tabernas dotdotdotdot
Spaghetti (Instrumental)

"Tabernas" is a fine track with rich guitar and a moody melody line. The stereo chorus is right out of a Hollywood interpretation of a spaghetti western. It's a splendid track, with jaws harp, whistling, Morricone grunts, and a great big grin!

Arrabassada dotdotdotdot
Surf 'n' Rod (Instrumental)

This is a fast double picked track with a hot rod melody that races to the finish line. On the spaghetti western side of surf, "Arrabassada" rocks and shoots the curl. very cool!