Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Portuguese Nuggets Vol. 1 Beat Surf And Garage Rock (POR 1964-1969)dotdotdot
artworkThis 20 track LP of vintage Portuguese rock'n'roll includes a few instros, some of which hint of surf. For the rare peak into this country's vaults alone, it's worth seeking out. One annoying thing is that the original mono tracks were reprocessed into a weird fake stereo affect by reversing the phase of one channel and boosting the bass. Once corrected, the sound is pretty good, given the vinyl sources.
Picks: Daniel Bacelar - Tema Dos Gentlemen, Os Blusoes Negros - Tequila, Conjunto Ruy Manuel - Fuga, Os Morgans - Opus, Quarteto 1111 - Bissaide, Os Tartaros - Tartaria, Os Titas - Tema Para Titas

Track by Track Review

Daniel Bacelar - Tema Dos Gentlemen dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The stinging whammy chords are very Shadows like, but much hotter. The melody is quite surfable, and boomy bass powerful. This is a very fine track with an almost Atlantics sound to it. The tribal drums thunder through the bass. Where has this been hiding?

Os Blusoes Negros - Tequila dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is one super tape delayed interpretation of Chuck Rio's claim to fame. Gone is all the party fun and rock 'n' roll blast, replaced with a murky faux-psych swirl of echoes. It's really quite surreal.

Conjunto Ruy Manuel - Fuga dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a basic echo guitar romp, with nothing particularly unique about it, aside from its obscurity - that is until the "Bumble Bee" double picked panic, wild drums, and drama comes in. The midsection is simply frantic! Very cool.

Os Morgans - Opus dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Intensely short-cycle echoplexed guitar plays a slightly psycho melody line. I'm not sure I can buttonhole this one. It's nervous, melodic, flighty, and quite intriguing. Slightly surf, but more rock.

Quarteto 1111 - Bissaide dotdotdot
Psychedelic (Instrumental)

With one foot in the spy world, and the other in the psych world, "Bissaide" is like a mix of secret agent jazz, garage fuzz, and Jethro Tull. While it's pretty repetitious, it's also oddly attractive and original.

Os Tartaros - Tartaria dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A long slow echo-driven glissando opens this basic riff rocker. The fire in the performance is unavoidable. It's a rocker much in the mold of fifties rages, but with very heavy tape echo guitar. The screams of exuberance are intense. The frantic drums wear you out.

Os Titas - Tema Para Titas dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Tema Para Titas" is a very Shadows influenced instro that also strangely suggests early Amon Duul II. A short distance in, you find it's worked its way into your conscience. It's a very unusual track with a compelling arrangement and melody. It's also a bit angular and edgy.