Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Strummin' Mental Volume 3dotdotdot
artwork3rd in the series sports even more dark and murky b-sides for your pleasure.
Picks: Womp Womp, Storm Warning, Cotton Pickin', Poison, A Little Windy, Slowly, Southern Drums, Movin', Rock City, Thunder Head, Let Down, Mach One, Infinity, Heartburn, Slidin' In, Tale Of A 280 Pound Shoe Salesman, Isis, The Bash, Utopia

Track by Track Review


Womp Womp dotdotdot
Sax (Instrumental)

Minimally interesting fifties rockabilly fare. If not for the treatment of the sax lines, it wouldn't count at all, though it does have a cool guitar line.

Storm Warning dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dr. John before he morphed into the Night Tripper plays a trashy heavily vibratoed riff rocker. Very primitive in a Bo Diddley kinda way, with lots of flare and pizzazz. Great throbbing rhythm.

Cotton Pickin' dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Not a drop more than a rock jam. Sax, guitar progressions, pumpin' piano... There ya go - that's it!

Poison dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This track opens with a rising cymbal brush, enjoys surf tones, and employs a contrast between the slightly reverbed lead and the dry rhythm. Somewhat tribal drums and a walking bass line support the track. It's interesting, but not very remarkable. It is likely not the same band as did "Sounds Of Mecca" and "Bangalore," judging from the tones and sound.

A Little Windy dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Murky surf twang and chunky rhythm. "A Little Windy" is minus a melody, but has a strange charm in its simplicity. Early primitive guitar riff rock.

Slowly dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Rising slowly from a stormy sound into a gloomy vibrato guitar calling to lost souls from the graveyard. "Slowly" is slow and menacing in an already dead kinda way. Very cool!

Southern Drums dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Crude drums and murky twang... There's not much to "Southern Drums." Real basic, yet strangely intriguing.

Movin' dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Chord twang and a bit of vibrato fronting a murky monotone groove. Very primitive structure, devoid of melody and much of anything to keep your attention.

Rock City dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The basic chord progression here has been used a number of times in basic rock instros. This live track is intensely whammied, with an almost stinging tone. Raw and primal, with great tom toms and a catchy break.

Thunder Head dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A slowly rising snare drum open into a surf pluck fest with reverb kicks and an unusual riff. It's quite an interesting track. The muddiness of the recording hides an effective rhythm track. Closer to a jam than is preferred, yet quite fun and very infectious.

Let Down dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Sounding out of tune, this surf progression is dark and ugly. It is quite unusual as vintage surf goes, with a fifties rock lead line, and a relentless reverbed rhythm. It is very muddy, but primal and innocent. This must have been quite effective on stage at teen centers. Heavily surfed up tune, with basic riffs and mega-reverb rhythm guitar.

Mach One dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Simulated hot rod engine sounds from the guitars, a flying double picked lead that's slightly reverbed, and a simple progression that is made palatable by the changes used to break the sameness. The first verse is double picked, the second lets the sax play lead, the third is single picked, then back through the changes to flying double picked finale. This is a quite a nice find.

Infinity dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Reverb-n-echo fifties progression rock. Not very interesting, just raw and unmusical.

Heartburn dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dull chords a la "Tequila" sans the charm relentlessly play out across the bland frontier. Little more than a jam.

Slidin' In dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is another fifties progressional, without benefit of melody. It is nicely delivered, with fine guitar picking, especially the delicate and precise used of played out chords. It has an air of surf, maybe even a flair for the waves, but its heart is in the fifties. It is infectious in a strange sorta way.

Tale Of A 280 Pound Shoe Salesman dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Before Alice Cooper sang about being a "Shoe Salesman," this band was worshipping at the alter of Al Bundy yet to come. It's a dramatic chunk fest of solid rhythms and period trad surf leads in a jam format that doesn't rely much on melody. It's not at all like the more familiar highly melodic tunes like "Pipeline" or "Miserlou," but it has the surf sound and a kinda magnetism that keeps you hooked anyway.

Isis dotdotdot
Jungle Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

Tribal drums and a sorta "Moon Dawg" feel, with a nifty riff. It's from the fifties, most likely, but is hints of some surf to come. A nice find.

The Bash dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Strongly based on "Peter Gunn," this is a raw dockside rumbler, with a future in the tubes. "The Bash" is splashy and raucous, with a pre surf drive and edge. Somewhat in the Midwest rail road instro vein, yet menacing. An echoed bass carries the "Peter Gunn" riff. Sid King and the String Kings were a precursor to the Trashmen.

Utopia dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Gloomy murky surf trash with a riff and a promise of reverb. The song is a long ways from great, yet it has a period garage surf coolness about it. "Utopia" is very simple, and murky as hell, but still worth a spin or two.