Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Stomp! Northwest Killers Vol. 1dotdotdot
artworkThis is the first of three volumes. It's remarkably strong, though most of these bands are lost in obscurity. Great frat, pre-frat, surf, and soul grooves from the fertile Seattle-Tacoma cauldron of the early sixties. Many unreleased tracks, including ten instrumentals from bands as diverse as the very good Frantics, including the undubbed "Werewolf," and the soulful Artesians, to the frat groove Imperials. Vocals include "Mashed Potatoes" (Adventurers), "Linda Lu" (Adventurers), "Koko Joe" (Artesians), "I'll Go Crazy" (Artesians), "Trick Bag" (Artesians), "The Slip" (Imperials), "Since You've Been Gone" (Imperials), "Louie Louie" (reportedly the first rock cover by Little Bill with the Bluenotes). This is an amazing collection.
Picks: Werewolf, Transfusion, Cooker, Chitlins Con Carne, Monkey Chain, Grunlins, Chinese Checkers, Watermelon Man, Crossfiring, No Werewolf

Track by Track Review

Werewolf dotdotdotdotdot
Pre Surf Lycanthropy (Instrumental)

This is the original, growling with lycanthropic evil and great guitar over tribal toms and a shimmering vibrato second guitar. This is a totally unique and magnificent track! The power of the writing and the highly effective simplicity of the arrangement is stunning. The Frantics' "Werewolf" holds up really well after more than 35 years.

Transfusion dotdotdot
Pachuko Soul (Instrumental)

Mid tempo suave flows from every corner of this smooth instro that's very much like the Pachuko Soul sound of east LA surf-instro bands. Great horns, jazzy guitar, and pumping bass and organ. A very smooth track. Previously unreleased.

Cooker dotdotdot
R&B Jazz (Instrumental)

Jazzy combo rock in a jam format, with a pumping backtrack and relentless guitar out front, and a tuff sax break. Previously unreleased.

Chitlins Con Carne dotdotdot
R&B Jazz (Instrumental)

Slow and soothing in a soul jazz kinda way, "Chitlins Con Carne" moves with a sultry sway and shows off the influence of jazz on early frat rock. The organ in the break is somewhat like Johnny and the Hurricanes. The sax is smooth and sultry. Great track. Previously unreleased.

Monkey Chain dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ultra grungy organ and guitar grind a la the Kingsmen, with a soul underlayment and a frat rock surface. Previously unreleased.

Grunlins dotdotdot
R&B Jazz (Instrumental)

I don't know what grunlins are, the the Artesians must have, because they named this frat grunged R&B jam after them. Nasty sax, jammin' relentlessness, and whirling organ. Previously unreleased.

Chinese Checkers dotdotdot
R&B Jazz (Instrumental)

Booker T. and the MG's' "Chinese Checkers" gets a fresh face, a more pimpled face, with grits dried on the chin. Previously unreleased.

Watermelon Man dotdotdot
R&B Jazz (Instrumental)

The Artesians morph Mongo Santamaria's "Watermelon Man" into a distorto jazz rant for your last frat party. Murky and grodie. Previously unreleased.

Crossfiring dot
R&B Jazz (Instrumental)

This is a kind of slow Dartels jam thing with no real focus. It seems to me to be just a frat party filler.

No Werewolf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

WOW!!! This is the undubbed master in stereo for the first time. No werewolves growling, just that amazing tribal masterpiece. This previously unreleased track is worth the price of admission alone. Great guitar, tribal tom toms, shimmering vibrato, and a totally magical arrangement. Stunningly cool! Stereo is dominant rhythm guitar and drums on the left, added lead licks, bass, and gong on the right. Way cool!