Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Wa-Chic-Ka-Nockadotdotdot
artworkLike many of the Bison Bop collections, this is all from vinyl and all obscure as Hell. This comp is on the Indian theme as view in the fifties on indie rock records. While it may seem out of place to you today, you have to understand not only the times, but that American Indian bands cut records just like this back then, not just white guys in rockabilly bands. Some of the vocal tracks on this disc are from Indian bands (the Chieftones for instance). It's a cool slice of Americana gone by.
Picks: Warpath, War Paint, Geronimo, Chief Whoopin-Koff, Massacre, Tomahawk, Medicine Man, Rattlesnake, Cowboys and Indians

Track by Track Review


Warpath dotdotdot
Vibrato (Instrumental)

This begins as a near Link Wray thing, with tribal tom toms and strong sustained mean guitar. It evolves into a fifties riff rocker, with a lead guitar that is pretty strong, with cool sound. The vibrato trembles and throbs, and even the piano tinkling is cool. It's not very "Indian" flavored, but the it's likely not from an "Indian" band.

War Paint dotdotdot
Rockabilly (Instrumental)

This is a moderately interesting fifties guitar instro that uses a slight variation of the guitar boogie riff. The percussion is tape-echoed, making it sound quite different. The guitar is thick and strong.

Geronimo dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This 1959 track came out of the same Hollywood studio regulars that were the Gamblers and so many others. Nick Venet (before becoming a famous session producer) , Sandy Nelson (while he still had two feet), Bruce Johnston (before joining the Beach Boys to replace David Marks) and Richie Podolor (before being Richie Allen and the Pacific Surfers, the Devons, the Super Stocks, the Ghouls, before engineering for Ed Cobb at the Chocolate Watchband sessions, and before producing Steppenwolf and founding American Recording). It's a perfect upper Midwest buffalo bop styled instro... a basic riff and lots of Indian stereo types... whoops and hollers, gun shots, and dull cries of "Geronimo" Very fun. "Geronimo" was included in the soundtrack to "The Ghost Of Dragstrip Hollow."

Chief Whoopin-Koff dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is a tame cover of the Fireballs' tune. While it's not very well recorded, it is well played, particularly the guitar work. A splendid example of garage band instros. The energy is low, with pristine guitar work and ambient muddy drums.

Massacre dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Another muddy recording of a basic Indian theme with stereotypical Indian war whoops and hollers. The tom toms are beefy. The sound effects are scant but effective.

Tomahawk dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a standard fifties instro, with a slight Indian theme. Nothing special, though the chord drops over the toms hint of surf to come.

Medicine Man dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This song has nothing to do with the fifties stereotypical Indian melodies or rhythms. It's just a fifties riff rock track with a honkin' sax buried in the muddy background.

Rattlesnake dotdotdot
Pre Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This crudely cut single uses a riff and a gimmick to make it stand out from the pack. It works. The snake rattles are cool, and the riff is not there unaccompanied to long before the big chord wham comes in and saves the day with a change of tone and intensity. For a riff rocker, it's pretty cool.

Cowboys and Indians dotdotdot
Schizoid (Instrumental)

This is one cool tune. The guitarist trades melodies and styles from verse to verse, with a trembling vibrato line over tom toms for the Indians, and an almost Buck Owens sound over a chunka-chunka rhythm for the cowboys. It's pretty fun.