Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Strictly Instrumental Vol 2dotdotdot
artworkVolume two in the much appreciated series from Buffalo Bop. 30 rare instros, mostly from the rockabilly or rock end of the spectrum, but still some tracks that are well worth seeking out, and a couple that are clear precursors to the surf scene. Excellent as usual.
Picks: Midnight Express, 2-3-4, Earthquake Boogie, Bedlam, Wolf Call, Uprising, The Viking Twist, Moanin' Bass, Shaften, Firewater, Roulette Rock, Sabotage, Heartbeat, Ad Lib, Red Ants, Deep In The Heart Of Texas Rock, Spitfire, Confusion, The Flea, Venus Rock, Do The Fly, Hot Wire, Chicken Rock, Rock And A Half, The Rise, Endsville, Speed Zone, The Troubles Streets, Everybody Twist, WIBCEE

Track by Track Review


Midnight Express dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This is a typical B-side raver, a progression intent of rhythm, but without a melody. The sax is nasty and cool.

2-3-4 dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A basic frat riff and sound, not remarkable or interesting, just rare.

Earthquake Boogie dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This guitar boogie romps at a frantic pace, with bass glissandoes here and there. Major spirit, and a riff and a half. I could see the Cadillac Angels rockin' with this. The drummer is manic!

Bedlam dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Like a minor version of some under developed Fendermen number, this seems like it needs more edge and a focus. It's got something about it that makes it work, but it's not terribly original.

Wolf Call dotdotdot
Northwest Rock (Instrumental)

Mean and nasty, grodie and menacing, inspired by "Midnight Stroll" and werewolf movies. Gimmicky, but very cool for 1959!

Uprising dotdotdot
Tribal Piano (Instrumental)

An Indian beat, a ringing guitar floating out chords, and a really cool piano boogie. "Uprising" is infectious to say the least. way fun.

The Viking Twist dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

A nearly surf guitar over a basic frat rocker... and while it's energetic, it's also not memorable.

Moanin' Bass dotdotdotdot
Surfabilly (Instrumental)

"Moanin' Bass" is a very nifty number. The guitar has really clear tone and excellent twang, and plays a riff that's unusual to say the least. The title led me to expect a bass-centric track, or at least a bass solo, but neither is the case. It's not melodic, but it is pretty darn cool.

Shaften dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Raging two chord filler, relying solely on it's edge and volume to carry it off. Fun, but no particularly interesting, and quite unimaginative musically.

Firewater dotdot
Fifties Riff Rock (Instrumental)

"Firewater" is a fifties riff rock progression, with no melody and muddy sound. This is not the great east LA band that hit with "Farmer John" and "Get On This Plane." Not particularly cool.

Roulette Rock dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Warbly guitar weirdness, like a lesser Bob Vidone and the Rhythm Rockers take. It's mostly a riff, but it has a kind of infirmary charm.

Sabotage dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Muddy echoed one note nasty sax jammin'. Lots of energy, but no melody. Had it been recorded more clearly, it might work better.

Heartbeat dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

"Heartbeat" grooves with an infectious rhythm and a delightful damped pluck lead, plus some strong low-E guitar work as well. A bit gimmicky, but also quite spiffy.

Ad Lib dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Ad-libbing is a risk, especially when you only know a couple of chords and a few notes.

Red Ants dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

A whirling organ under a couple of basic chord progressions, and a sax sputtering out an unimaginative riff. A typical fifties B-side.

Deep In The Heart Of Texas Rock dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Bordering on pre-surf, the clean lead guitar seems out of place against the murky backtrack and the honky tonkin' piano that often carries the melody. Lot's of repetitious chops, but not much to hold on to. Besides, the chorus is a verse from the song... not entirely instrumental.

Spitfire dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

A nearly chicken pickin' guitar in spots, but mostly one note jammin' over a routine backtrack. The guitar work seems very stiff (not fluid).

Confusion dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

The confusion lies in the key to play in. The backtrack is out of tune or out of key with the guitar, creating a definite confusion. Totally strange idea carried off like it was an accident. Beyond that, it's just a jammin' thing.

The Flea dotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Rockin' rollin' Jerry Lee Lewis feel to the beat, and nothing more than that. An routine sax line with a minimal melody.

Venus Rock dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Almost surfy with reverbed hand claps and a low-E Fender twang, plus a nasty sax. It's not very melodic, but the beat is infectious and the richness of the guitar tone appealing. A nice find.

Do The Fly dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Crude 15 ips echo, crummy sound, a two note riff, and occasional insertions of "do the fly man, do the fly" to keep up the interest. Under the murk lies what musta been a really grodie crowd pleaser. Fun.

Hot Wire dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

"Hot Wire" sports a way fun almost train-sound riff and rhythm. Not a surf lick in sight, but it has the potential to be a really fun set filler. The extremely dry damped up and down glissando in the middle is wonderful. It's quite cool for sure.

Chicken Rock dotdotdotdot
Chicken Bop (Instrumental)

Reverbed chicken pluckin' cries out for pluckin'. Totally infectious, precisely played, grinnin' ear to ear, and among the best of this genre. I think Eddie Angel (Los Straitjackets) and Tony Tarzan (Cadillac Angels) would love this.

Rock And A Half dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a little less melodic and interesting than their other tracks, but still a great fifties instro track.

The Rise dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting piece. The use of delay on the guitar gives it a wet tone. The melody line is not far from the surf idiom. The rhythm track is unusual and not really in any genre. Very cool, with a sometimes mystical sometimes rabid feel.

Endsville dotdot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

Murky low end grodie frat vibrato grind, guitar plays second fiddle to the mean sax. Not very remarkable.

Speed Zone dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This is not the surf band that gave us "Steel Pier." It is a semi surfy tune murkily cut with 15 ips delay and a fluid though minimal riff over a high energy backtrack. The drummer makes his mark, as does the upright bass. Quite cool.

The Troubles Streets dotdotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

Obviously inspired by Link Wray's "Rumble," this menacing tune employs similar minimalism and vibrato, but less edge. Mid track, it busts out into a stereotypical rock jam, but very quickly comes back to the long leanin' notes. Tasty.

Everybody Twist dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

That twist beat, an ultra common progression, a few Jerry Lee piano glissandoes, and a mean sax... just a jam.

WIBCEE dotdotdot
Roadhouse (Instrumental)

A Jimmy Reed chop progression and a lack of a melody. Yet, the nasty sax opposite the mean guitar chords does create a kind of sentimental appeal to this roadhouse blues.