Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Guitar Acedotdotdotdot
artworkFourteen instrumental nuggets, born of Link Wray's dark genius, find new meaning at the hands of some fine musicians. the artists that really stand out here are the Hellbenders, Dave Wronski, Pollo Del Mar, the Space Cossacks, Fifty Foot Combo, the Hypnomen, and Four Piece Suit.

Vocals include Bleed's deep desire to be a distorted lowbrow Flamin' Groovies cover of Jimmy Reed's "Ain't That Lovin' You, Babe," the garage pomp of Throw Rag as they chant out "I'm So Glad I'm So Proud," the retro early sixties garage frat raving of Throw Rag's "Friday Night Dance Party," the Woggles' ultra garage frat fuzz pummeling of "Deacon Jones," the very fine heavy dry chop rhythm and drum menace of the Boss Martians' incredible cover of "Fire and Brimstone" (way to go Evan), the atmospheric treatment of "Fallin' Rain" by the ever-cool Calexico, the cheesy garage of the Gore Gore Dolls' cover of "Baby Doll," the almost Little Richard intense version of "The Girl Can't Dance" from Evan Foster, and the backwoods gingham of Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonics' "Run Boy Run." Frankly (for my taste), the vocals are really pedestrian garage fare, with the exception of the Boss Martians, which has real fire and rhythmic chemistry.
Picks: Raw-Hide, The Shadow Knows, The Outlaw, Mustang, Ace Of Spades, Slinky, Rumble Mambo, Genocide, I'm Branded, Jack The Ripper, Comanche, Run Chicken Run, Rumble, Roughshod

Track by Track Review

Raw-Hide dotdotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

This is s straight garage chunka delivery of "Raw-Hide," nicely cut and sporting appropriate edge. This is a very reverent cover, with tuff whammy and a sudden end.

The Shadow Knows dotdotdot
Garage Lounge (Instrumental)

Spy-Fi (featuring Phantom Frank) slowly rises from an eerie whistle and samples, eventually revealing tuff guitar, viably throbbing and gritty. Like a latter day "Rumble," "The Shadow Knows" employs sustained drama and minimalist power. It's a long and dangerous four-forty trip into Link's dark side. Pretty darn cool and spooky.

The Outlaw dotdotdotdotdot
Spaghetti Surf (Instrumental)

The best spaghetti western band on earth makes nice with Link Wray's rhythmic and western adventuring masterpiece "The Outlaw." The narrated story midstream just adds to the great cactus ride. Infectiously rhythmic, with gorgeous tone and a perfect performance.

Mustang dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Mustang" a.k.a. "Blue Beard" is tastefully chunked out by the impeccable Space Cossacks. Its relentless backtrack is so Link, and the precision drums and lead guitar really capture the masters' intent well. The surf verse with the double picked lead guitar and deep throated glissandoes is spectacular! Great track!

Ace Of Spades dotdotdotdotdot
Acoustic (Instrumental)

Mr. Guitar Dave Wronski plays this often covered Link Wray song on acoustic guitar, losing none of the primal edge and drama, yet bringing it into a deeply personal place. What a magnificent performance. Dave clearly spent significant time working out the arrangement. After all, with two electric guitars, bass and drums, it's a very sparse, minimalist song, and on solo acoustic, it's potentially more sparse. Dave fills it out very well. Excellent!

Slinky dotdotdotdot
Exotic Garage (Instrumental)

Those masters of exotic percussion and garage fuzz Fifty Foot Combo attack blast an appropriately gritty performance of "Slinky." It's tribal and massive, with swirly organ nicely subdued in the mix. Splendid!

Rumble Mambo dotdotdotdot
Refined Garage (Instrumental)

Another fine band, capable of the refined fuzz pummel, the Hypnomen do a richly arranged and intriguing arrangement of "Rumble Mambo." It's both mean and flighty, as Link surely intended. Very fine!

Genocide dotdotdotdot
Evil Garage (Instrumental)

Finland's heavy throb Downers do justice to one of Link Wray's meanest songs. Big dirty vibrato throb and dark fuzz tones. Simply heavy and real, like a slow death Punchdrunks track. Very nice!

I'm Branded dotdotdot
Evil Garage (Instrumental)

Perhaps Link Wray's second most covered song among the lo-fi and Southern/country bands, "I'm Branded" is tweaked just enough to add edge. On the murky side, and mono to boot, Southern Culture On The Skids treat it like it's an ancient twangster.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is an absolutely raging performance of Link Wray and his Raymen's "Jack The Ripper." It doesn't get much bigger than this. Exquisite tortured feedback, glorious sustain, and precise power. Powerful drums, thundering bass, and intense guitars. Wears me out!!!

Comanche dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Indian drums and distant chants under lighter guitar than the usual version of this minimalist rave set it apart from the pack. It's well done with Link Wray and his Raymen in mind. A manic double picked break and tribal drums.

Run Chicken Run dotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

Trashy mono instro rage from Japan's chief lo-fi band. "Run Chicken Run" seems a lot like every Billy Childish instro ever cut.

Rumble dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Croatia's most amazing export, the Bambi Molesters rise once again to the challenge. Their dark surf chunk and liquid springs bring out yet another dimension to Link Wray and his Raymen's signature song "Rumble." This is big, loud, and pure surf rage!

Roughshod dotdotdotdot
Smokey Rock (Instrumental)

The tongue in cheek humor of Four Piece Suit suitable transforms "Roughshod" into a nasty smoky club sax and guitar epic of a bygone era. This is a stunning example of what can be done with a sense of the fifties and some actual talent. Very cool!