Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Las Vegas Grind! - Volume 1dotdot
artworkLas Vegas Grind! - Volume 1 contains lots of greasy grind and low brow R&B, and a few gem-lets too. Two surf obscuros, "Countdown" and "Take It Off," reside amidst the often unmastered and unrestored tracks.
Picks: The Casual-Aires - Thunderbird, The Crescendos - Countdown, The Genteels - Take It Off, The Jesters - Peter Gunn Twist, Ken Williams - Trashcan

Track by Track Review


Bob Callaway - Native dotdotdot
Vegas Tribal Runway (Instrumental)

This tom tom driven thing is mighty infectious. It sports great drums, and cool vibrato guitar behind a sensibly restrained sax. The interspersed cries of "umgawa" and other nonsensical "African" words place this squarely in the pre political correctness era. It's a fine instro with a mighty friendly hook.

The Casual-Aires - Thunderbird dotdotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

One of dozen's of songs named after the cheap screw-top wine, A relentless backtrack that's kinda catchy supports sax noodling. Touches of "Tequila" and slabs of squonk.

The Crescendos - Countdown dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Countdown" is a primitive surf grinder with sax lead. Slow pace, R&B foundation, and very long pick slides. Pretty fun. The Crescendos might have been from the upper midwest.

The Dyna-Sores - Jungle Walk dotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Slow sax mucking around with dinky guitar licks in an all-jam no peanut butter track. Disjointed and not particularly catchy, yet more than a throw away.

The Genteels - Take It Off dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A "Peter Gunn" riff behind a gimmicky runway number with charm and cool piano. Great drums drive this infectious track. It's a precursor to The Tornadoes of "Bustin' Surfboards" fame in more ways than one. While very simple, "Take It Off" is very pleasing.

Tarantula Ghoul and the Gravediggers - King Kong dotdot
Weird Jungle (Instrumental)

This is the sort of jazzy thing that might lie somewhere between Spike Jones and Ernie Kovaks. It's playful and riff driven, but not very interesting. The lyrics thrust in the middle about "going ape" and not making a "monkey out of me" are too period! Like a TV comedy bit without the visuals.

The Groovers - Groovy dot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Some tasty piano work and booming bass plod under a simple sax riff segmented by soft calls of "groovy" in a clearly fifties beat fashion. Pure Hollywood exploitation jive.

James Holloway - Ala Carte dotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

This is a classic greasy R&B grumbler with a circular progression on bass and organ and a nasty sax, interrupted by call's for disgusting edibles in full echo. Pure gimmickry in a raw sleaze setting. Defines grease!

The Jesters - Peter Gunn Twist dotdotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn" gets the full grease trap affect as the organ growls and the bass grumbles. Great nasty sax and seedy blues soul.

The Phantom - Last Ride dot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Slow echo drenched booze drenched frog throated mindlessness. "Last Ride" just did not grab me at all.

The Singing Dogs - Rock And Roll dot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Yes, it's those The Singing Dogs. canine barks carry the melody, which was a major job before sampling. Unadulterated novelty.

Bob Taylor - After Hours dotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Big drum role and shouts usher in a low brow progression. Without the party atmosphere, "After Hours" has little to offer, apart from the bump and grind beat.

The Valiants - Don't Wanna Leave dotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Goofy jungle utterances and raw sax, flippant piano, jammin' guitar, and Tarzan calls. Dismissible.

The Wildtones - The Shut-Ups dotdotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Cheesy sax'n'roll with echoed cardboard percussion and a catchy riff with verses separated cheesy lines ending in "shut up and..." Hinting of The Champs at times, "The Shut-Ups" is raucous and rollous for sure.

Ken Williams - Trashcan dotdotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

Cool whammy warbled guitar like The Rolling Stones employed in "Little Red Rooster," but less intense. "Trashcan" is a minimalist number driven almost entirely by the great bass work and grode moodiness. Pretty darn fun!

The Youngsters - Zebra dot
Jungle (Instrumental)

This R&B number uses the "Suzie Q" drums, and a mess of jivin' lo-fi groovin' to create an exotic sound. No melody to speak of, and a boring fifties guitar break.

The Zirkons - Congawa dotdot
R&R/R&B/Blues/Rare (Instrumental)

A grumbly noodge laments the loss of cool from pre rock'n'roll music at the hands of mindless nonsense, and lo and behold, mindless nonsense follows, probably from some budget studio session.