Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Strummin' Mental Volume 2dotdotdot
artworkContinuing down the road to obscurity, volume two brings forth more murky gems.
Picks: Headache, Blast Off, Jungle Fever, Thunderbeat, Psychic, Shaften, Going Up, Mexican Party, Watusi Zombie, Hot Stuff, Heartbeat, Jungle Boogie, Wild Cat, Charge, Take Seven, Johnny Sax, 6:15, Honey Walk, Jack The Ripper, Swooney

Track by Track Review

Headache dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

I don't know if this is the Midwest Citations. It doesn't sound much like them, though some guitar tones are similar in some spots. It's a super hot surf based jam, with more frat band screaming than it needs. It's hot and way fun. The speedy playing on the lead is quite nice where double picking is employed. The behind the bridge plucking is cool too.

Blast Off dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf stompin' guitars and space rockin' rhythms and wailin' sax with racing drums and a walking bass line. It's a progression, a jam with way more spirit than musical content. The energy and flair is enough to carry it.

Jungle Fever dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Raw backwoods rock jam instro, low down and grodie. The early almost fuzz bass guitar is really the coolest part.

Thunderbeat dotdotdot
Midwest Surf Twango (Instrumental)

Midwest heavy vibrato twang with a twinge of surf. More or less the stuff of a riff rockin' jam, yet with enough angst and edge and ultra cool low-E vibrato to keep it from getting boring.

Psychic dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Beautiful surf chords open to whammy chords and just enough weirdness to be interesting, and not enough to be quirky. Kinda muddy, yet charming. The reverb, the guitar chops, the bass and drums... it all adds up here to a very cool obscuro.

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.

Going Up dot
Frat Rock (Instrumental)

Just a grodie lo-fi riff with clapping and party shouts.

Mexican Party dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This surf song uses behind the bridge plucking well, like in "Rockin' Cricket." The tune is a progression based on Barrett Strong's "Money" amped up by weird whammy. The exotica percussion is very cool, especially against the behind the bridge picking and bottle neck guitar weirdness. It is both peculiar and interesting, despite such a minimal melody line. There's little "Mexican" about this track.

Watusi Zombie dotdotdot
Jungle (Instrumental)

Mean jungle guitar and mighty percussion, noisy and gutsy. Tribal from the get-go, with no shortage of spirit. "Watusi Zombie" is just a riff, but is quite infectious. Really trashy and cool too! Dig the drums and shouts!

Hot Stuff dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This song relies heavily on a monotonous beat and guitar weirdness. Like a jazz inversion of a throwaway Thee Midnighters instro, "Hot Stuff" is repetitious and just a little odd. Little that can be confused with synergy.

Heartbeat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is Midwest style progression, over a relentless backtrack, with spiffy piercing single note slides. It has a strong mean appeal despite it's two chords. Raw dark sky storm surf. "Heartbeat" is infectious in its simplicity and dangerous sound.

Jungle Boogie dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Great jungle drums open "Jungle Boogie" for the first 25 seconds before it becomes just another cover of the Virtues' "Guitar Boogie Shuffle." Lots of energy, but no originality.

Wild Cat dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a basic fifties guitar b-side. Lots of flare, but no melody. Just a blues progression played fast and wailin' drums. Fiery, but of no consequence.

Charge dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Opening with a trumpet blasting out the charge, and covered with woodblock horse hooves, this two chord wonder with a spiffy melody riff is both a fifties backwoods marvel and a pre-surf tune waiting for a decent reverb treatment. The plinky piano is so Leon Russell (though he isn't credited). ""Charge"" was included in the soundtrack to The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow.

Take Seven dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the B-side to the Novas' incredible single "The Crusher." It's a basic progression, but somehow has long held a place in my heart. It is pure landlocked surf, thrashing and raving with reverb and thunder. The drums are almost lost in the mix, but it all seems to work.

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.

6:15 dotdot
Sax Rock (Instrumental)

The drums slowly speed up in typical train instro fashion to open this riff rockin' sax wailer. One note riffs and high spirits.

Honey Walk dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The "Happy Trails" bass line opens "Honey Walk." Beyond that, it goes nowhere, but has a twangy charm.

Jack The Ripper dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty credible nod to Mr. Wray's classic. Definitely not up to Link Wray's level, but a solid cover with almost surf tone via what sounds like some spring reverb and real room reverb at the studio. Quite tasty.

Swooney dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dark gutty guitar riffs out a blues progression in small label b-side fashion. More about twang and rhythm than a song.