Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Instrumental Diamonds 2 - Highly Strungdotdot
artworkVolume 2 continues the exploration into British guitar instros. Many are heavily influenced by the Hank Marvin / Shadows sound. This disc is identical to the Highly Strung 1 compilation with the addition of two stereo instros from the Honeycombs.
Picks: Music Train, Cleopatra's Needles, Red Dragon, Ghoul Friend, Jump Jeremiah, Ten Swinging Bottles, Pompeii, Husky, Packabeat, First Love, Man In Space, The Organizer, Mad Goose, The Eliminator, The Switch, Neb's Tune, The Traitors, Caroline, Husky Team, Dream Lover, Highly Strung, Pigtails, Evening In Paris, Thunderbirds Theme, Hurricane

Track by Track Review


Music Train dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This rare stereo instro master was not released in '65 when it was cut. This unreleased session from September 9, 1665 is a punchy instro with staccato damped dry picking and a cool melody line that's pretty surfable.

Cleopatra's Needles dot
Shadows Organ Cheese (Instrumental)

Cheesy organ and guitar weirdness from the pop/Shadows side of the aisle. The guitar plays a circular riff with a sub Shadows tone. This is what happens when you let technicians try to duplicate cool in the laboratory.

Red Dragon dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Tremolo maximus guitar playing a companion melody to "Wild Goose," with a slightly oriental feel. More cute than cool.

Ghoul Friend dot
Horn (Instrumental)

Fresh out of some dreadful black and white B-movie, horns and tweaky guitars... jeez.

Jump Jeremiah dot
Space Pop (Instrumental)

Cheesy post "Telstar" organ pop, whistling and flitting about. Completely dismissible.

Ten Swinging Bottles dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Itsy Bitsy Spider" turned into a moderately cute guitar rock instro. Not a lot of energy, but some charm. Much too repetitious to rise above the crowd.

Pompeii dot
Horn (Instrumental)

Horns and an odd melody that's at odds with the drums that are totally out of sync with anything else going on here...

Husky dot
Organ (Instrumental)

An organ "Hole In The Wall" or "Wade In The Water" kinda super-simple boring do-da. Uttering "husky" with a moron voice does not improve it.

Packabeat dot
Organ (Instrumental)

Big drums pound like the drummer learned to play last week. The organ and guitar do nothing to elevate "Packabeat" above amateur.

First Love dotdot
Shadows MOR (Instrumental)

The Dave Clark Five do a slow dance guitar number on the low-E for the teeny boppers at the hop. This cheesy instro sports a big guitar lead over a sock hop organ and chorus. MOR at heart, it's just a stone's throw from Duane Eddy.

Man In Space dotdotdot
Shadows Fuzz Surf (Instrumental)

This is actually the Pete Chester Group, but the reason for the name change is unknown. It's a slightly fuzzed Shadows kinda thing with some very cool damped high on the neck slow glissandoes with reverb and echo to create a spacy sound. Heart warming and a neighbor to surf.

The Organizer dot
Jazz (Instrumental)

Anglican lounge, with lab coat soul and Jimmy Smith wannabe organ. Next.

Mad Goose dotdotdot
Sax (Instrumental)

The band name says it... The sound is a pale imitation of the Piltdown Men, which were a studio session group to begin with. Big kettle drums and sax leads.

The Eliminator dotdotdot
Indian (Instrumental)

The Eliminators do a nice job with this. "Eliminator" is on the soft side, but it has a surfy edge via warm whammy, and it infects the listener. Bells toll for a spaghetti western influence. A little dramatic in that British way, but still very cool.

The Switch dot
Horn (Instrumental)

Fifties chumpy guitar riff rock with sax. Cutesy in a B-movie way. Horns and a Munsters sound... quirky and cutesy but not cool.

Neb's Tune dotdotdot
Espionage (Instrumental)

Exotic bongos and the kind of TV suave that the theme to the Prisoner was born of. Crescendos of keyboard swirl and gutty guitar twango. More tweaky than cool.

The Traitors dotdot
Shadows Tequila (Instrumental)

A "Tequila"-like rhythm section and a slow Shadows style melody. Slightly interesting and a little odd.

Caroline dotdot
Sax Shadows (Instrumental)

Pumpin' stompin' fifties rocking honkin' sax 'n' roll. A light weight guitar riff and jammy feel don't rise above the studio rock sound.

Husky Team dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Galloping drums and low register guitar twang with high notes between verses. In many ways, this is a lot like a commercialized Atlantics tune. Very cool, with a catchy sound and riff. Just as you're ready to vote for it, the cheesy chorus ruin it.

Dream Lover dotdotdot
Electric Piano (Instrumental)

Bobby Darin's "Dream Lover" gets the over driven piano effect. The fuzz guitar behind and the melodic lilt contradict the pop sound. Interesting.

Highly Strung dotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

With an "At The Hop" beat and a carnival weirdness, "Highly Strung" is anything but. Pure pop guitar rock.

Pigtails dot
Echoplex (Instrumental)

Big twang, echoed and compressed drums, and a choppy progression in lieu of a melody. Not much of a song.

Evening In Paris dotdot
Organ (Instrumental)

The Tornadoes' "Ice Cream Man" sound without the guts.

Thunderbirds Theme dotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

Kettle drums pump up the pomp, while the guitar and bongos pretend to be cool. Sorry mates, but this is just not very interesting.

Hurricane dotdotdotdot
Pop (Instrumental)

Another unreleased stereo master from the Honeycombs. "Hurricane" sports tribal drums and a nearly surf-Indian theme melody line. A damn fine instro!