Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Golden Crest Instrumentals featuring the Wailersdotdot
artworkAn interesting collection of tracks, some previously unreleased, from the Golden Crest vaults. Most are crudely recorded, as was typical of a lot of the Seattle material of this period. Some are very cool indeed, others merely unremarkable R&B progressions. Still, thirty tracks for a small fee is not a bad deal. This is a significant slab of the history of the Pacific Northwest music scene.
Picks: Wailin', Scotch On The Rocks, Wolf Call, Blood Rare, The Alamo, Wipe Out, Hand Clappin' Time, Tight Spot, Pigmy, Terock, The Slide, Little Daddy, Jerry's Monkey, Bandido, Snake Pit, High Wall, Cut Out, Dog Fight [Part II], The Greaser, Cool It, Minuet, Margie, Squeezer, Cross Current, Miami Dreams, Ape Walk, Fried Onions, Congo Mombo, Mau-Mau, Scotch On The Rocks

Track by Track Review


Wailin' dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

A fast Link Wray-like number, in his less interesting fifties progression style. The track is overdubbed with echoed handclaps. Originally issued in 1959.

Scotch On The Rocks dotdotdot
Spaghetti TV Theme (Instrumental)

Again, Al Caiola delivers vibrato driven spaghetti western sounds for the TV series. The writing is really good, and the influence this had was immense in terms of the public's guitar sound recognition. The Woodies version will knock your socks off.

Wolf Call dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Swimming whammy and thumpy bass support a dribbled double pick riff, all driven with a ton of energy. The repetition wears thin pretty quickly, but power carries it off.

Blood Rare dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty routine cover of the Pyramids' hit, though the second guitar shimmers a lot and the lead is vibratoed and grodie. The tones and effect are unusual enough to keep in the keeper column, but the arrangement is otherwise quite standard.

The Alamo dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slow silky surf tones and lap steel like keyboard tones whisper in like the fluctuating breeze. This is a very pretty track, slightly Hawaiianesque, and very summery.

Wipe Out dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This sports a very chunky surf intro that yields to a fine surf instro. The tune is well written and features well placed glissandoes and excellent guitar tone.

Hand Clappin' Time dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

You have to wonder if a "Six Million Dollar Man" rides a "Six Million Dollar Board?" This is a solid performance, and the addition of Spanish trumpet adds to the surf feel. I think this would shine if recorded/mixed well.

Tight Spot dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Spanish trumpet moodily introduces this tune like a matador's introduction a la the Tijuana Brass. The tune is exceptional. I like this track a lot. It's pretty and slow and very sad. The trumpet-horn interplay is well thought out.

Pigmy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Solid surf and twang, and semi melodic riff work, swimming whammy, and a mysterious distant feel. The lead lines are so far back in the mix that's it's sometimes difficult to follow them.

Terock dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Mean riff-surf twango, with an eye on a spot somewhere between Laika & the Cosmonauts and the Challengers with edge. Lots of power and energy, just an undynamic mix. The bongos add an element of bachelor suave to go with the "hey baby" sample in the intro.

The Slide dotdot
Surf R&B (Instrumental)

Groovin' rhythm and blues for the hop. The horn duet is smooth, but the groove is way too trite.

Little Daddy dot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Basic sax led R&B, like minor Bill Dogget fare from 1961.

Jerry's Monkey dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a splendid vehicle for the trumpet. Fulla Bulla toreador ethics, surf jam whammy, swirling tone. The basic idea is very close to a Penetrators' "Melodie's Dilemma."

Bandido dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a chunky punkie chord churner, dark and mean, but not very interesting. It has a lot of energy and surf grind, but seems quite one dimensional. The quiet-down middle includes a sampled voice crying "I shot him."

Snake Pit dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Little Richard piano, pumping rhythms, progression dominated, and punctuated with shouts of "Snake Pit." Previously unreleased.

High Wall dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a title. The horn wah's distantly like the theme from a fifties black and white gumshoe tale. The guitar vibrates menacingly. The whole thing lumbers along at an almost painful pace.

Cut Out dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

First there was Surfin' Dave & the Absent Legends "In Search Of A Decent Haircut," then Mark Brodie & the Beaver Patrol's "Bad Hair Day." Now, a rippin' number all about "John Wayne's Haircut." This is no barber school epic. It's a down to earth surf pounder. The organ's low down whirl gives this a bit more meanness. Strong and fun.

Dog Fight [Part II] dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fifties soap opera organ glissando opens, but quickly enough we encounter a surf riff and major speed. The organ and guitar trade off the spotlight for variety.

The Greaser dot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

1959 R&B progression sax stuff with great plinky piano and stops so Lord Dent can say "the greaser," "turn up the collar," "long black hair," "man that cat just ain't nowhere," "you're really bad," "dad, you've been had," "nobody does it like that - I do - you're nobody." It's all so fifties (1959 actually).

Cool It dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Dexter Romweber has this knack for hearing sounds in his guitar that others have overlooked. Not just tones, but chops and licks. His application of the ax charts new territory. This is a stunningly fresh track that merges the surf ethic with a dissonant country funk. Getting so much sound out of one guitar and drum kit is in itself quite a feat, but with so much rhythmic chunk as well, this simply pleasures the listener. Damn fine track.

Minuet dotdotdotdot
Country Surf Twango (Instrumental)

This is a splendid track, loaded with many different elements and ideas that are not obvious combinations. Fuzz, organ, and rhythmic chunky guitar work. Very playful and infectious.

Margie dotdotdot
Super Suave (Instrumental)

This track is a lush bow to the Brill Building ethic, where the delicate super clean guitar unintrusively laid out fluid noodle lines in a jazzy key with jazzy chords, like a lesser Wes Montgomery. The string accompaniment is priceless, setting the ambiance perfectly.

Squeezer dotdotdot
Classical Brevity (Instrumental)

A chord progression, issued with a Beethoven like pomp. Extra short at under ten seconds.

Cross Current dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Grodie chunky chord progressional rhythm oriented riff rockin' party fight song with a nasty sax. Nuff said.

Miami Dreams dotdotdotdot
Beach Party (Instrumental)

With Hawaiianesque touches, sunny tones, and sounds of surf and happy voices in the distance, this very pretty and enjoyable track features pristine playing, emotionally rendered with a wide range of dynamics and energy. The changes take you through several mood adjustments. The vision of a barbecue at the beach is unmistakable. Chow, summer sun and no worries. Exceptionally fine track.

Ape Walk dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

This 1961 track employs the same instrumentation as "Bandito," but is much more interesting, with strong military drums and more of a Champs/Royaltones feel, but with accordion. Very cool.

Fried Onions dot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Crude sounding guitar riff rock, looking for something more than a progression, but never finding it. It goes nowhere fast. Previously unreleased.

Congo Mombo dotdotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

1957 saw this cool track issued from the Golden Crest label, in relatively good sound, and with an unusual structure. The guitar is a tasty blend of styles over really great tribal drums. Pretty snazzy track.

Mau-Mau dotdotdot
Tequila-like (Instrumental)

While you might expect tribal thunder here, what you get is a "Tequila" like number. It's good, but doesn't quite sync with it's title. From 1964.

Scotch On The Rocks dotdotdot
Spaghetti TV Theme (Instrumental)

Again, Al Caiola delivers vibrato driven spaghetti western sounds for the TV series. The writing is really good, and the influence this had was immense in terms of the public's guitar sound recognition. The Woodies version will knock your socks off.