Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Wild and Excellent Instrumentalsdotdotdot
artworkAnother fine set of obscuro instro nuggets from the White Label. 32 tracks, some worth the price alone, and others fit for frat bashes only. You can't go wrong with the real deal from the back rooms of middle America, and this is a grand slab of exactly that. The best track here is the Treasures' fabulous "Minor Chaos." It's all from vinyl, but most tracks are really clean.
Picks: The KTRM Rock, Dog Patch Creeper, Screaming, The Viking Twist, Backlash, Greens Rock, Hold It, Hit and Run, Lonely Guitar Blues, Wild Weekend, Minor Chaos, Cecil, Meeting In The Air, Johnny's Jump, Kooknik, Cajun Honky Tonk, Rock Like That, The Other Side, It Wasn't Easy, Boppin' Guitar, Everybody Outta The Pool, I Don't Know, Square Rock Part 3, Lori-Ann, Swamp Surfer, Organtar, Nightspot, Milwaukee Stomp, Arroongah, Stompin', Echo Express, Deadline

Track by Track Review

The KTRM Rock dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Piano groovin' rock 'n' roll theme show music, pumped with energy and spunk. The guitar plays a jammin' lead riff, and the sax wails like a car horn in traffic.

Dog Patch Creeper dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Evil low-E surf guitar and piano, with hand claps and reverb-b-b-b-b. The nasty sax just adds to the dirty-boy grit when it comes in.

Screaming dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Primitive screaming guitar rock, chooglin' along at a blinding clip, with screaming interspersed. This grodie fifties instro is just ahead of the surf revolution in style. Very cool guitar work.

The Viking Twist dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Guitar wise, this sounds like it might have been a contemporary to the surf, but not really in the groove. It's a jammin' high energy rocker with a strong and clear lead guitar and a sax break.

Backlash dotdotdot
Piano Boogie (Instrumental)

Piano boogie woogie gonna pump those notes out in sequence no matter what just for fun.

Greens Rock dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very primitive rock instro, from a way less than tight band. It's a showoff guitar piece sorta in the guitar boogie vein.

Hold It dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

simple progression progresses relentlessly... very uncreative, but quite spirited.

Hit and Run dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is pretty cool standard progression riff rocker, with a rich low-E lead guitar. It's in the edge of surf, especially where is reaches into the long held chords. With a little whammy and some reverb, we'd be talkin' surf here. Mighty fun.

Lonely Guitar Blues dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

A walkin' with Link kinda thing, a stroll with a bluesy underpinning and twang aplenty. Darn cool, with a little nastiness brought about by the low-E guitar licks and the lumbering pace.

Wild Weekend dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a pretty raw rendition of the Rockin' Ramrods' classic. It's cheesily recorded, with a much less inspired sax and restrained guitar.

Minor Chaos dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This 1964 release is one of the GREAT surf obscuros. The Treasures called Fargo, North Dakota home, and shunned the surf label, seeing it as limiting. They employed Gretch hollow body guitars for a more gutty sound. "Minor Chaos" is melodic, powerful, and rhythmic. The drums are spectacular, and the melody is strong. This is an essential surf monster. This is credited to Treasures guitarist Paul Hubbard, but the Steve Rowe and the Furys release of the same song credits Steve Rowe as the writer. It's a surf instro who done it. Paul says they co-wrote it, and it developed in various bands they both shared.

Cecil dotdotdot
Blues (Instrumental)

Question is, is this tribal tom-tom number dedicated to Cecil the Sea Sick Sea Serpent, or just some schmuck named Cecil? It doesn't matter, because beyond the walking bass and tribal toms, it's an unremarkable blues jam.

Meeting In The Air dotdotdot
One Note Squonkin (Instrumental)

Thick chunka chunka, one note squonkin' sax, three note bass line... if it wasn't so strange, it would be really dreadful.

Johnny's Jump dotdotdot
Saloon Piano Solo (Instrumental)

Very cool tinkly saloon piano solo, fit for a romp on the sod floor with the bar maid and the local card shark. It almost smells of Jack Daniels.

Kooknik dotdotdot
Vibratically Throbbed (Instrumental)

A guitar boogie shuffle, vibratically throbbed, and quite rhythmic with a why-bother drum solo. Of minor interest.

Cajun Honky Tonk dotdotdot
Honky Tonk (Instrumental)

Like a lesser Bo Diddley swirl, "Cajun Honky Tonk" progresses without direction through a couple of chords. I'm sure it was quite danceable at their shows, but other than giving the vocalist a break, this really doesn't serve any purpose.

Rock Like That dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

An overused riff, slightly morphed from "Istanbul." Trashy recording, repetitious riffs, and lots of energy.

The Other Side dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Another obviated title rests on this excellent B-side. I think this is better than the A-side. It uses a Ventures drum beat, and a great surf-n-Euro melody line that is both original and familiar. Excellent surf rhythm guitar and a driven performance make this a must have single.

It Wasn't Easy dotdotdot
Hoe-down (Instrumental)

Excellent picking on this country and western number with wood block percussion. It's way fun, like a hoe-down after the harvest.

Boppin' Guitar dotdotdot
Echoed Guitar Boogie (Instrumental)

Echoed guitar boogie progression, framed on a theme that's been done to death.

Everybody Outta The Pool dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Alright, chillun, outta the pool! It's a slowed down "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" with plinking piano and shouts of "Everybody Outta The Pool" while the whistle blows.

I Don't Know dotdotdot
R&B Jam (Instrumental)

Another unremarkable rock jam, with some R&B flavor. Musta been more fun to play than it is to listen to. It has no focus, just a walking bass line and some energy.

Square Rock Part 3 dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is like a pumped version of the backtrack to "Short Shorts." Fun, but devoid of a melody.

Lori-Ann dotdotdot
Saloon Piano (Instrumental)

Cowboy Bill's saloon piano plays fluffily over a perfect walking cowboy cactus romp. Wholly unmelodic, but fun in a disjointed way.

Swamp Surfer dotdot
Riff Near Surf (Instrumental)

Not too surfy number with little that could be labeled a melody. Just a riff with no where to go.

Organtar dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Slightly exotic percussion, a walking bass line, a little guitar riff played on a reverbed guitar, and one might confuse this with a surf precursor. It's jazzy, with a fine piano roll and suave arrangement. Pretty cool.

Nightspot dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Like a backtrack waiting for Jerry Lee to sing, or maybe not. The rolling drum break and guitar duet are surfy. never mind, it's just a fifties jam with a little extra flair.

Milwaukee Stomp dotdotdot
Backwoods Country (Instrumental)

Banjos, acoustic guitar, and backwoods flair. It's not a breakdown, more like a hoe-down. Darn fun, unless you're allergic to gingham.

Arroongah dotdotdot
Low-E Rock (Instrumental)

Grodie low-E guitar, like a cross between Jody Reynolds, Bo Diddley and Link Wray. You can hear the surf around the corner, but you know you're still on the train just outside Kiukuk, Iowa. Very cool.

Stompin' dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Man, what a simpleton frat rocker this is. The sax man can blow hard, but he uses damn few notes and left style at home. The rhythm guitar riff is Neil Hefty's "Batman." Boring.

Echo Express dotdotdotdot
Primeval Pre Surf (Instrumental)

This is one penetrating guitar instro. The lead guitar uses tape echo and a fast decay to create an intense stinging tone. There's little to call a melody, mostly just a riff, but man-o-man is this powerful. It's a natural for a surf treatment.

Deadline dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

No, this isn't the surf band. Raw one note sax screamer with a crude grodie backtrack that warns of the danger around the bend. Big, but just so-so.