Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Hot Rockin' Instrumental Hoe Downdotdotdot
artworkA varied collection of fifties and sixties instros, some priceless surf gems, others remarkable examples of creativity, and many Bison Bop B-sides. With 35 tracks at a reasonable price, this is a good buy. As with most White Label / Collector Records releases, they've gotten masters from the labels where available, and used the best vinyl sources otherwise. A grand addition to your collection, especially if you are interested in the roots of surf.
Picks: The Hudson Valley Boys - Dustin', The Impacts - Theme From Impact, The Individualists - Shiska, Los Locos Del Ritmo - Pedro Pistolas, El Mongol, Don Love and the Heartbeats - El Azul, The Marlins - Let Down, The Motivations - The Birds, The Rel-Yea's - Round Rock Boogie, The Rock-Ettes - Zumbie, The Sen-Sa-Shuns - Shanghaied, Terry and the Tags - Rampage, The Thundermen - Thunderbeat, Conjagua, The Vibra-Sonics - Drag Race, Thunder Storm

Track by Track Review


Rex Allen - Bronco Boogie dotdot
Cowboy Boogie (Instrumental)

Cowboy slapping bass teenage boogie behind the barn.

John Carter and the Boppers - Rhythm Rock dotdot
Cash Country (Instrumental)

A basic country riff the likes of which any Johnny Cash might do.

Duane De Santo - Real Cool dot
Rockabilly Progression (Instrumental)

A rockabilly progression with relentless guitars and some cool picking. This could have been developed into a surf monster with out too much trouble, but, alas, it was not.

The Encounters - Jezebel dot
Piano Mung (Instrumental)

Rolling piano rock, poorly conceived and executed.

Eugene and the Jaybops - Thunderin' Guitar dot
No Fi Horrid Thunder (Instrumental)

Raw and thundering. Crummy performance. The mics must have been at the bus station across the street. Awful and all distorted. Yuk, blechk, pttooph.

Bobby Fry and the Troupe - Rockin' Rockin' dotdot
EchoPlexed Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Fifteen ips echoplexed rockabilly.

The Golden Tones - Swerv dotdot
Sax and Piano Progression (Instrumental)

Fifties sax and piano jam.

The Hawks - Fussy dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

Basic fifties rockabilly progression.

The Hawks - A Little More Wine, My Dear? dotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

"A Little More Wine My Dear" is a basic 50's instro, but with a solid low-E guitar lead. reasonable melody line, and presurf picking. A cool tune.

The Hudson Valley Boys - Dustin' dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

A strange structure and near surf lead merge to deliver an unusual find.

The Impacts - Theme From Impact dotdotdot
Borrowed Lick Pre Surf Progression (Instrumental)

Basic riffola - surf like and nifty. This band has no relationship to Merrell Fankhauser's band. This contains lots of little licks from many another surf tune, giving it a familiar and acceptable sound, even though there's little melody.

The Imperials - Steppin' Out dotdot
Honky Tonk Clone (Instrumental)

A Bill Doggett-like number, like "Honky Tonk," but even less interesting and more derivative.

The Individualists - Shiska dotdotdotdot
Potential Surf (Instrumental)

Middle Eastern guitar and piano duel out a nice melody. Some one should really surf this up, like maybe Jon and the Nightriders, the Berzerkers, Pollo Del Mar, the Insect Surfers, or maybe the Mermen. It's totally not surf, but it has the potential to be a monster, like "Miserlou."

Los Locos Del Ritmo - Pedro Pistolas dotdotdotdot
Mexican Detective Rock (Instrumental)

These guys were the madmen of Mexico in the sixties - hey, isn't that what Los Locos means? The Crazies of Rhythm as it were. They did things to American standard garage punk and the like that were totally unique. Some enterprising sole should unearth their whole catalog of singles and stuff and issue a CD. They weren't talented in the technical sense, but their genuine true-to-life directness about their music just oozed fun. They had a total absence of pretension. As you might guess from the title, "Pedro (Peter) Pistolas (Gunn)" is the Henry Mancini classic. It ain't surf, but there's little from Mexico that is cooler than this. Hot stuff!

Los Locos Del Ritmo - El Mongol dotdotdot
Mexican Chinese Takeout (Instrumental)

A stereotypical Chinese intro and melody line are supported by a simple trite format. Both fun and cool, because that's the only way Los Locos Del Ritmo can do it.

Don Love and the Heartbeats - El Azul dotdotdot
Cowboy Progression (Instrumental)

Rockabilly plucky cowboy coolness is created with surf whammy and a backwoods progression.

Don Love and the Heartbeats - The Happy Zombie dot
Fifties Sax Progression (Instrumental)

Fifties sax over a standard progression, and a ton of 15 ips tape echo.

The Marlins - Tarantula Pt 2 dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

Slightly surfy fifties progression.

The Marlins - Let Down dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sounding out of tune, this surf progression is dark and ugly. It is quite unusual as vintage surf goes, with a fifties rock lead line, and a relentless reverbed rhythm. It is very muddy, but primal and innocent. This must have been quite effective on stage at teen centers. Heavily surfed up tune, with basic riffs and mega-reverb rhythm guitar.

Billy Moon and the Moonshiners - Waterbaby Boogie dotdot
Guitar Boogie (Instrumental)

A simple guitar boogie, unremarkable and fast.

Ray Morton and the Temp-tones - Whirlwind dot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

Completely unremarkable.

The Motivations - The Birds dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool semi surf riff with really cool effects from the echo plex and the outboard reverb, and a menacing meanness. The chunky damped surf rhythm guitar keeps it in focus, and the drums provide the thunder. Very cool track.

The Rel-Yea's - Round Rock Boogie dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Rel-Yea's "Round Rock Boogie" has been comp'd several times before. It's an interesting track, typically theirs in style. A boogie riff with an Eddie Cochran feel to it. . The band was from the Midwest.

The Rock-Ettes - Zumbie dotdotdot
Whammy Progression (Instrumental)

Surf whammy and a standard progression. Odd, slightly interesting, and barely a pick.

The Sen-Sa-Shuns - Shanghaied dotdotdot
Annoying Percussive Tremolo (Instrumental)

Way bizarre tremolo effects on the whole track, like mondo tape flutter, only induced on beat, not random. It's as if the drummer was playing his sticks on the tape reel as it went around... never before have I heard such an effect... cool... annoying, but cool.

Bill L. Smith - Bill's Theme dotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Piano and guitar duet create a near-surf tune of staggering averageness.

Emil Spak and the Encores - Hold Up dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

A standard fifties progression.

The Starfires - Honky Tonk Twist dotdot
Country Bar Room (Instrumental)

Crude country bar room stuff. Not based on "Honky Tonk," but designed for use therein.

Terry and the Tags - Rampage dotdotdotdot
Belair Surf (Instrumental)

The Paul Johnson tune done quite well. The piano is so-o-o Jim Roberts. Very cool!

The Thundermen - Thunderbeat dotdotdot
Midwest Surf Twango (Instrumental)

Midwest heavy vibrato twang with a twinge of surf. More or less the stuff of a riff rockin' jam, yet with enough angst and edge and ultra cool low-E vibrato to keep it from getting boring.

The Thundermen - Conjagua dotdotdot
Surf Twang (Instrumental)

Throbbing vibrato and a garage primitivity that makes "Conjagua" attractive in an archival sense. Surf twang with an overused lick. I wish the sound was better.

The Treble Tones - Treble Rock dotdot
Fifties Progression (Instrumental)

Very basic progression of little interest.

The Vibra-Sonics - Drag Race dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Unusual guitar and surf sounds merge to create a very cool tune, with a playful lead riff and solid bass and raging drums. Lots of fun, and a bit of surf too.

The Vibra-Sonics - Thunder Storm dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As with the A-side of this single, "Thunder Storm" is a rockin cool tune. Raging drums and a riffin' guitar.

Jim Wheeler and the Country Playboys - Hughes Ramble dotdot
Fiddle Faddle (Instrumental)

Country guitars and a fiddle, but they just play a progression, never really evolving a song.