Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Shiverin' and Shakin' - Hop Rockers and Sleazy Instros: Challenge Records Part One (1958 to 1965)dotdotdot
artworkThis is a nice cross section of tracks from the Challenge label. Ten instros are here. The down side is that some are from vinyl, some less than mint, and the mastering was inconsistently done, sometimes leaving stereo artifacts from tape or vinyl, and other surface noise.
Picks: The Champs - Experiment In Terror, Gene Moles and the Softwinds - Burnin' Rubber, Bob Regan - Tarantula, The Rhythm Rockers - Rendezvous Stomp, The Riptides - Machine Gun, The Snowmen - Ski Storm - Part I

Track by Track Review


The Champs - Subway dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A raspy sax and echoed drums do a runway sleazer of a blues number. This is so slimy it's diseased!

The Champs - Experiment In Terror dotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's masterpiece gets the mean edge from the Champs. Very suave for sure!

Jimmy Gordon - Buzzzzzz dotdot
Psychedelic Fuzz (Instrumental)

Ultra biker fuzz tone, merged with riff duet organ in ultra lo-fi grode sound. Kinda pop structured, but garage grode. Relatively uninteresting fuzz pop.

Gene Moles and the Softwinds - Burnin' Rubber dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Screaming dragsters and spirited surf guitar work with a melodic main riff and strong performances, together as is seldom heard in studio projects. The double picked bass is a very cool touch, but the organ is out of place. Cool track.

The Originals - The Whip dotdotdot
Latin R&B Rock (Instrumental)

The Originals issue this in '58. It's very playful, but not very imaginative. "The Whip" is derivative of "Tequila." Released in Europe in 1963 as by Chuck Rio and the Originals.

The Rangers - Mogul Monster dot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a direct rip-off The Wailers' "Shanghai'd," just a little bit faster. Frat rockin' Northwest style rock 'n' roll.

Bob Regan - Tarantula dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Big slapback echo and string choking circulate a riff rocker that's way more aggro rock jam than song, though the demented string bending warble is pretty cool.

The Rhythm Rockers - Rendezvous Stomp dotdotdot
Surf Stomp (Instrumental)

This is what I always think of when the term "stomp" comes up in surf conversation. It has a similar sound and feel to Bruce Johnston's "Original Surfers Stomp," but it's instro of course, and much more authentic. You can just see a line of surfers and bunnies doing the surfers stomp. Spunky.

The Riptides - Machine Gun dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This 1959 record has been covered many times in the rockabilly circles, and has also found its way into "surf" collections. Highly rhythmic and infectious, "Machine Gun" is just plain cool. Great primitive fifties guitar and 15 IPS slap back.

The Snowmen - Ski Storm - Part I dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Snow Men cut this single on for Kim Fowley who licensed it out to Challenge in 1963. "Ski Storm - Part I" is rhythmic and poundy, with a bitchin' riff and great energy. The drums rock, the piano is ultra cool, and the riff, while straight forward and simple, is very effective.