Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: The Sabre Records Storydotdotdot
artworkWhile this is definitely primitive, both musically and sonically, this compilation gathers a bunch of rare and/or unreleased tracks from the Sabre Records stable. The liner notes are extensive and excellent. History from the back alleys of rock.
Picks: Rampage, Shadow, War Path, Restless, Wild Party, Midnight Walk, Blueberry Jam, Midnight Tears, What's The Word, Johnny Sax, War Path, Restless, Bugle Rock, Speed Trap, Twin Spin, What's The Word, Forgotten, War Path, The Wabash Dixie Doodle, Sidewinder, Electric Ivory

Track by Track Review


Rampage dot
Fifties (Instrumental)

"Rampage" blasts out in a fifties honkin' progression. It's the sort of thing the Vice Barons would cover.

Shadow dot
Fifties (Instrumental)

"Shadow" is a stroll with no direction particular direction. What it does do is snarl with raw early rock edge.

War Path dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Raw fifties grind thundering along with a raspy sax lead and nearly surf beat, not no reverb of course. Nasty!

Restless dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Using that "Lion Sleeps Tonight" rhythm and progression, this fifties rocker slugs it out with the bouncer to stay on stage, while the revelers pogo undauntedly. Infectious riffaroonie chunk.

Wild Party dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Like a crude version of the Gentrys, or maybe a cleaner version of their "Wild," this track has a chunky garage feel with pumpin' organ and a basic Northwest feel, plus lots of shouts from the band. Can you spell Par-tee?

Midnight Walk dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool surf based instro with a twist. There's rockin' surf riffs and tones under the piano lead on this a 1962 reissue (Sabre 103). "Midnight Walk" is centered on electric piano, with strong lead guitar, bass, and drums. It's is a really cool tune frat tune, and a bit surfy to boot.

Blueberry Jam dotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

I found my thrill, or maybe my rockin' shoes. "Blueberry Jam" is a trashy take on the classic fifties tune.

Midnight Tears dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Saucy slow nasty sax and stroll sounds like at the end of a sweaty prom at the local high school... sultry and cool.

What's The Word dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

"What's The Word" is a raucous fifties jam with stops to facilitate the frat shouts.

Johnny Sax dotdot
Frat Sax Rock (Instrumental)

The intro says "Johnny Bought A Sax and joined the Thunder Rocks - and then... " Stompin' fifties frat rockin' riff rock with spunk and a wailin' sax.

War Path dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Another take on "War Path" with better sound and better performing, but still no reverb. Way cool!

Restless dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Using that "Lion Sleeps Tonight" rhythm and progression, this fifties rocker slugs it out with the bouncer to stay on stage, while the revelers pogo undauntedly. Infectious riffaroonie chunk.

Bugle Rock dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Inspired by a bugle call, this rockin' number lacks the charm of Johnny and the Hurricanes, but captures the raw energy and punch. Raucous rawkin' roll.

Speed Trap dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

With some debt to "Tequila," "Speed Trap" is a spiffy damped picking tune with an infectious riff. It is previously unreleased.

Twin Spin dotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Way to crudely recorded to listen to much, but under the murk lies a grodie and mean monster. Yikes, what a dark grinder.

What's The Word dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Another take on this raucous fifties jam. The stops facilitate the shouting of exactly what you'd expect.

Forgotten dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

This is a pretty slow vibrato shimmer number with quite a bit of simple charm. The melody line is haunting and sad, in a sorta "Last Date" kinda way. Strangely attractive.

War Path dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

This is a third take on "War Path" with similar sound and solid performing, but still no reverb. Way cool!

The Wabash Dixie Doodle dotdotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

This is a brilliant merger between Duane Eddy's rendition of "Wabash Cannonball" merged with Link Wray's reworking of "Dixie" with bit's of "Yankee Doodle Dandy" as "Dixie Doodle." Quite a cool concept. Chunky and raw. The second guitar lends a somewhat out of place Johnny Cash rhythm.

Sidewinder dotdotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Rhythmic and cool, with some nice stretched notes and damped picking. This is quite subtle compared to the rest of the Thunder Rocks' material.

Electric Ivory dotdotdot
Fifties (Instrumental)

Like you might expect, this is a piano boogie with a primitive post Jerry Lee Lewis attitude.