Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Instro Maniadotdotdot
artworkA most unusual collection of European instrumental bands of the sixties. This item was sent to us by the kind folks at Gee Dee Records in Germany. This is not a surf comp. Most of these bands are in the Euro Instro vein, heavily influenced by the Shadows and traditional European songs and styles. Most of these tracks have never seen the light of day in the US. The styles are mostly rock based, but span a broad spectrum therein. The liner notes contain cool pix and data on the acts included in this most unusual compilation. While there isn't much surf here, this is a unique opportunity to look into the German scene of the early sixties. Recommended.
Picks: Jimmy and the Rackets - Continental Twist, Monique and Les Tridents - Stalactite, Rein Du Tout, The Newtones - Apache, The Tigers - Comanche

Track by Track Review

The Black Devils - Whisky A Go-Go dot
Fifties Piano Boogie (Instrumental)

A fast piano lead, for which I am often a sucker, by a group of studio musicians from Munich. Not this time. Just a fifties boogie woogie. This is a rearrangement of Billy Vaughn's "Chop Sticks." The piano player is Rudi Bauer.

Jimmy and the Rackets - Continental Twist dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Jimmy and the Rackets were a British Beat group. This is structurally a surf song, but it is without reverb. Dry guitar tones accompanied by a very cool piano.

Jimmy and the Rackets - Black Eyes dotdot
Rock & Roll (Instrumental)

This is a very slow double picked tune with plinky Jerry Lee piano pumping gently away.

The Lions - End Of The Party dotdot
Horn (Instrumental)

Trumpet or clarinet over a vibrato guitar shimmer. A slow dance tune with not much melody.

Monique and Les Tridents - Stalactite dotdotdot
Organ Surf (Instrumental)

Monique Battenberg was a French vocalist-keyboardist. A surfy rhythm guitar and an organ lead produce a semi-space tune sound a la sixties beat/go-go instro. There's a whole genre like this out there, some really cool. Nice track, just no surf.

Monique and Les Tridents - Rein Du Tout dotdotdot
Echoplex Organ Surf (Instrumental)

An echoplexed lead guitar, and a soulful organ atmospherically played, deliver a nice melody which makes for a semi-surf number worth a listen.

The Newtones - Apache dotdotdot
Exotic Garage (Instrumental)

Germany's Newtones were actually the same band as the Tigers. Very amateur version of Jerry Lordan's classic hit, with wood block percussion, or are those the drums recorded so badly that you can't really tell? The blocks give it an exotic air... very strange.

The Newtones - Illusion dot
Fifties (Instrumental)

"Illusion" is a cutesy fifties-ish tune with that wood block sound. Fun, but otherwise not very interesting.

The Newtones - Lang Ist Es Her dotdot
Fifties Cowboy Indian (Instrumental)

Buck Owens coulda made something out of this fifties style Cowboys-n-Indians thing. It has the all elements, just not the development or chemistry.

The Safeknackers - Cadenabbia-Twist dot
Fifties Sax Piano Party (Instrumental)

Sax lead fifties styled tune with piano and party whoops & hollers. The Safeknackers were an early sixties Bavarian band.

The Shaking Boys - Home On The Range dot
Sax (Instrumental)

This sax lead tune employs a plucky guitar backing. It sounds like it was captured for 50 cents on a really cheapo recording. It would have been a fun track with better fidelity. Another Dutch band.

The Spectacles - Talisman dotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This is a guitar oriented light weight Shadows style tune that just doesn't stand out.

The Spectacles - Party By Mary [Shake Version] dotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

The same song, but without the chunka-chunka, and faster. Different is not better. Again, to restrained.

The Tigers - Comanche dotdotdot
Indian Rock & Roll (Instrumental)

A just barely Indian riff carries this nifty tune, with a minimal sax backing, and a pumping organ in lieu of a rhythm guitar. Interesting, fun, and obscure. A Dutch band.

The Tigers - Tiger Angriff dotdot
Sax Boogie (Instrumental)

A fifties style slow boogie with a sax lead. Rockin' party tune.

The Tigers - Ochsenkarre dot
Fifties (Instrumental)

A minimally interesting sax & guitar in a fifties style instro.

The Towners - Space Race dotdot
Garage (Instrumental)

The Towners called themselves the German Shadows, for obvious reasons. A basic guitar lead garage progression with the bass too big and the lead and rhythm too low, probably from mastering EQ errors. It is the EQ that drags this down. Otherwise, it would be a decent garage instro.

The Towners - Piccadilly dot
Commercial Combo (Instrumental)

A very commercial combo sound, with the bass line being the most distinctive element.

The Travel Five - Kasernenhoff-Twist dotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

This is a bizarre cover of the Johnny & the Hurricanes rendition of "Reveille Rock" by a Dutch band. Quite a spirited performance under a really cruddy recording. Too bad, the feel is there, as is the energy.