Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: The Ninth Wavedotdotdot
artworkThis web comp is identical to Rock instrumentals Volume 1. Lots of cool stuff and some not so cool.
Picks: The Hi-Fives - Fujikami The Warrior, Kenny and the Fiends - House On Haunted Hill Part 2, House On Haunted Hill Part 1, Lenny and the Thundertones - Thunder Express, Alabamy Bound, Kathy Lynn and the Playboys - Rock City, Rockin' Red River, The Mus-Twangs - Frankie and Johnny, Dearset, The Nomads - Desert Tramp, Bounty Hunter, The Rondels - Shades Of Green, Satan's Theme, My Prayer, 110 Lbs Of Drums, Caledonia, Back Beat No. 1, The Saturday Knights - Ticonderoga, Tiger Lily, The Bill Smith Combo - Tough, Travis Wammack - Louie Louie

Track by Track Review


The Hi-Fives - Fujikami The Warrior dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one of those instros with quite a bit of vocalizing, but no singing. fake Japanese chants and a chorus inject themselves into this progression-based number. It's very period, and quite fun.

The Hi-Fives - Mo-Shun dotdot
Frat (Instrumental)

"Mo-Shun" is a trashy organ instro that's very much a frat rock track. While a bit brash, it's not particularly memorable, which is probably why it was not included in the Vancouver history release series.

Kenny and the Fiends - House On Haunted Hill Part 2 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like Part one, but with shimmering vibrato chords added to the intro, and more emphasis on the damped lead guitar, and more frantic tom tom action.

Kenny and the Fiends - House On Haunted Hill Part 1 dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a slowly "fee-fi-fo-fum" introduced track that uses a melody almost exactly like "Istanbul," but with heavy toms underneath. The lead guitar is thin, but the track is very fun.

Arthur Lee and the L.A.G.'s - The Ninth Wave dotdotdot
Memphis Soul Clone (Instrumental)

Not the Ventures song, but an organ based Memphis soul clone instro a la Booker T. & the M. G.'s. Relatively tame and churchy sounding. Derivative and unimaginative.

Arthur Lee and the L.A.G.'s - Rumble-Still-Skins dotdotdot
Memphis Soul Clone (Instrumental)

More shopping mall organ based Memphis soul clone instro music, but with tribal drums and runway sensibilities.

Lenny and the Thundertones - Thunder Express dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Thunder Express" is a low-E grumbler hinting of the surf singles to come in the next two years. This reminds me of Gene Gray and his Stingrays in some ways, just a little less edgy and energy laden. A great and ultimately surfable riff drives "Thunder Express." Rhythm dominated low watt rock instros from the day when instros were structured like backtracks waiting for a vocal melody line. There are some nice guitar licks in the bridge, but mostly it's a riff rocker.

Lenny and the Thundertones - Alabamy Bound dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This standard gets a real rock instro treatment that surely could be a surf track if not for the lack of reverb. Great tone and drums!

Kathy Lynn and the Playboys - Rock City dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The basic chord progression here has been used a number of times in basic rock instros. This live track is intensely whammied, with an almost stinging tone. Raw and primal, with great tom toms and a catchy break.

Kathy Lynn and the Playboys - Rockin' Red River dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Rockin' Red River" is a decent obscuro with some near double picked lines and a kind of restrained spunk. Obviously inspired by Johnny and the Hurricanes' "Red River Rock," it's much more guitar centric and twangy. The origins of this song go back to a traditional cowboy folk song titled "Red River Valley" first annotated in 1879.

The Mus-Twangs - Frankie and Johnny dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A great band name, and a grode overdriven guitar bump out the classic R&B tune "Frankie and Johnny." Raw and immediate.

The Mus-Twangs - Dearset dotdotdotdot
Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

A very cool chord progression gives the feeling of Bo Diddley's "Dearest Darling," but much smoother and presurf island cool. "Dearset" is a lovely tropical number with splendid whammy and many of the elements that would become the more Polynesian side of surf music. very nice!

The Nomads - Desert Tramp dotdotdot
Desert (Instrumental)

"Desert Tramp" is a cool number with whistling lead and tremolo guitar in a sort of cowboy spaghetti style. A very nice track despite the whistling and "ooh ohh" chorus that has desert written all over it.

The Nomads - Bounty Hunter dotdotdot
Piano Sax (Instrumental)

Piano and sax similar to some of The Viscounts lesser tracks. Definitely not surf, but sporting some tasty guitar lines and excellent gritty soul.

Reg Owen Orchestra - Manhattan Spiritual dotdotdot
Orchestral Rock (Instrumental)

Highly spirited and stylized orchestral magic is brought to life in this old MOR hit. based on spirituals, it rocks and sways very coolly.

The Red Price Combo - Danger Man dotdot
Secret Agent Jazz (Instrumental)

Typical TV secret agent jazz, big and brash. This is the original theme to the TV show that was replaced by Johnny Rivers' "Secret Agent Man" when it was brought to the US.

The Red Price Combo - Blackjack dotdot
Secret Agent Jazz (Instrumental)

More secret agent jazz from The Red Price Combo. Much like the a-side of the single and TV theme.

Reg Owen Orchestra - Ritual Blues dotdot
Orchestral (Instrumental)

"Ritual Blues" is a much softer number than the a-side, with exotic percussion and a hint of the Middle East. Sultry and seductive, but not particularly memorable.

The Rondels - Shades Of Green dotdotdot
Instrumental Rock (Instrumental)

"Green Sleeves" is done with silky guitar and saucy sax. This is a somewhat gentle version, but with real band credibility. The chorus even seems to fit without degrading the period experience.

The Rondels - Cover Charge dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Sax and roll, churning damped chop guitar work, and lots of frat rock fun. Riffs, but no melody. They do shout "Hey" a lot, as well as croon "oooh" for extended periods.

The Rondels - Satan's Theme dotdotdot
Instrumental Rock (Instrumental)

The Challengers' "Satan's Theme" gets a dryer, more gentle treatment from The Rondels. The double picking is cool, and the arrangement landlocked.

The Rondels - My Prayer dotdotdot
Instrumental Rock (Instrumental)

"My Prayer" is a slow smoocher of a cover of The Platters' 1956 hit. It's really smooth and silky.

The Rondels - 110 Lbs Of Drums dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Raw and honkin' edgy, "110 Lbs Of Drums" sports surf guitar and sax, and hard driving rolling drums, with the anticipated drum solo mid stream. Thrashy and cool.

The Rondels - Caledonia dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great rolling drums support this sax honker as it romps over the top of a surf guitar line. It's a pretty unusual track, with miles of smiles.

The Rondels - Back Beat No. 1 dotdotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This fine obscuro, covered in several forms by the Cadillac Angels to such infectious effect, holds up well as a pre surf masterpiece. Very simple, yet catchy and vital.

The Saturday Knights - Ticonderoga dotdotdotdot
Instrumental Rock (Instrumental)

"Ticonderoga" has a superb melody, and the rhythm and drums very cool. The sax in the middle plays with gentle vibrato. Restrained and very cool. Originally issued in 1961 on Swan 4075. This is the original version of the song that The Ramblers covered and that appeared on Surf Legends and Rumors. Swan 4075 (Ticonderoga c/w Tiger Lily)

The Saturday Knights - Tiger Lily dotdotdot
Instrumental Rock (Instrumental)

"Tiger Lily" is a softer, easy rock instro with shimmering tremolo guitar and strings. The melody is simple but really warm. Aside from the strings, it's a genuine garage band romancer. Originally issued in 1961 on Swan 4075. Swan 4075 (Ticonderoga c/w Tiger Lily)

The Bill Smith Combo - Tough dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"Tough" is a piano and sax honker influenced by Bill Black's style, but amped with Eddie Wayne Hill's stinging echoed guitar. It's a combination of pedestrian R&B and very cool.

The Bill Smith Combo - Anastasia dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"Anastasia" is a slow and moody number with a walking bass line. The sax lead is soulful and saucy.

Travis Wammack - Upset dotdotdot
Fuzz Rock (Instrumental)

Churning chunky rhythm guitar that almost double for an organ, relentlessly pumping out a "Woolly Bully" kinda thing. Mostly a frat rockin' rhythm song.

Travis Wammack - Louie Louie dotdotdotdot
Fuzz Rock (Instrumental)

One of the great instro version of Richard Berry's landmark rock anthem. With an almost churchy organ, and a thin ultra fuzz guitar, Travis Wammack makes this into an event. They're havin' too fun, what with there shoutin' and yelpin' and carryin' on.