Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Motorcycles, U.S.A.dotdot
artworkComing from a surf perspective, this is a dismissible;e release. But for fans of the Hollywood studio scene of the sixties, this will be a valued release. Long and detailed liner notes with insights into the personalities and motivations of the producers and musicians make for an interesting historical read.

The songs from the Risers are all studio hot rod vocals as is the Gants' "Road Runner," Paul Hampton's "Headin' For The Girl I Can't Forget," and virtually every track from the Hornets starts out with a motorcycle revving up and crossing the speakers left-to-right as it digs out.
Picks: Theme From 'The Wild Angels', Scrambler, Start, Candy Apple Racer, The Big Race, The Big Iron, Over The Top, Cross Country Run, Off The Line, Hare and Hound, The Fastest Throttle, Shot Down, Broadside, On The Track, In The Pits, Bike Talk, Kickstand, Theme From 'The Wild One'

Track by Track Review


Theme From 'The Wild Angels' dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Dirty raspy fuzz guitar simulation of a motorcycle engine precedes Davie Allan's "Theme From 'The Wild Angels'." The weirdness of a girl chorus and the low energy approach make this an unusual cover of this song.

Scrambler dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Long note guitar lines are at times hauntingly interesting, while at others, the cheesy organ and horns are just commercial. This does not sound at all like it's related to the Strangers that originally did "Caterpillar Crawl."

Start dotdotdot
Small Combo Big Band (Instrumental)

A nearly complete knockoff of "Balboa Blue" under a new title.

Candy Apple Racer dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Slightly surfy, totally damped go-go playing, rhythm based, and deliberate. The simple riff just grabs and pleases. According to the liner notes, the master for "Candy Apple Racer" was later retitled "A Go-Go Dancer" and issued without sound effects on the A' Go-Go album.

The Big Race dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Thick fuzz riff rock with sax honks and a modest beat. Very repetitious, but the whammy dipped long fuzz lines are cool.

The Big Iron dotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

This is so typically Hollywood pretentious rock 'n' roll jammin' that it's almost scary. The pace is plodding and the creativity virtually nonexistent.

Over The Top dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Lonnie Mack's "Wham!" is dumbed down and sanitized. Aside from the rapid deep whammy bar action, it seems pretty contrived, though there are a few screaming guitar lines.

Cross Country Run dotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Gimmicky guitarisms over Hollywood rhythms do not an interesting track make. It sounds like it was borrowed from some indie single floating around the circuit at the time.

Off The Line dotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

"Off The Line" does not suggest a vision of its title. Frat oriented, and studio born, it is mostly an odd assortment of trite elements assembled in a haphazard way.

Hare and Hound dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

A simple riff is the basis for "Hare and Hound." Played with more guts and prominence, and without the annoying rhythm guitar, this coulda been a contender. A lot of noodling sax and guitar pickery that just doesn't gel.

The Fastest Throttle dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Owing some inspiration to "Willie and the Hand Jive" (Johnny Otis), "The Fastest Throttle" is nonetheless among the best tracks here. Its infectious rhythm and near-chemistry hold your attention throughout. Pretty fun track.

Shot Down dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

The lead riff owes a great deal to a merger between Ernie Fields' "In the Mood" and the Nobles' "Jaguar." While definitely derivative, it's also mostly interesting, except for the cheesy midsection.

Broadside dotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

"Broadside" is just a hair away from one of the many Madison dance instros of the fifties.

On The Track dot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Circular jammy riffs and honky sax squanks and studio horn section rock 'n' roll. It just never develops.

In The Pits dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

"In The Pits" sports an almost chicken pickin' melody line like often came outta the Memphis studio machine in the fifties. With some rearrangement, it could drop into a rockabilly set.

Bike Talk dot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

This is a funky stroll with noodly sax and a Bill Black rhythm. Way too derivative.

Kickstand dotdotdot
Biker (Instrumental)

Bikerisms abound in this Venturization of the Davie Allan sound. OK, but not overly interesting.

Theme From 'The Wild One' dot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Studio drummer Earl Palmer and an orchestra make movie music. More thematic sequence stuff than song.