Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Deuce Coupes - Hotrodder's Choicedotdot
artworkWhen the majors tried to take over surf, they did it in their usual music-machine way, by either signing the more popular bands and then only allowing the key members to actually record, or they "created" bands out of thin air, not unlike Millie Vanilli. Examples of these two methods of control include Dick Dale at Capital's studio at Hollywood and Vine under the control of Jim Economides and the Surfaris under the influence of Charles 'Bud' Dant at Decca and the Challengers being guided by Richard Delvy, or in the latter case, the Super Stocks, the Mar-Kets, or the Avantis. With precious few exceptions, studio projects were often less than real sounding than actual bands, exceptions being the work done by Richie Podolor, Paul Johnson, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, and a few others. These sessions had a character that was only evidenced in such gatherings. The good ones were rare and precious. The usual sessions were tepid and lame. The Deuce Coupes fall into the latter category under names including the Darts and the De-Fenders.
Picks: Smooth Stick, Road Rattler, Tijuana Gasser, Gear Masher, Candy Apple Blue, Satan's Chariot, Hayburner, Dawn Patrol, Monkey Si, Double-A Fueler, Nite Surfer, Nite Prowler

Track by Track Review

Smooth Stick dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Racing engines and burnin' rubber, riff rock structures, dry guitars, and a round low-E lead. This is a decent track, but the simplicity of the riff falls below the attention span threshold despite the constant hot rod effects.

Road Rattler dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Racing runs up and down the neck relentlessly riffing away give rise to fifties writing and chunka chunka beats, all cute but with no enduring qualities. Inspired by "Guitar Boogie Shuffle," but without either the innocence or the charm.

Tijuana Gasser dotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

With a basic "Suzie Q" rhythm and a simple almost jam lead line, this has neither the expected feel of Tijuana rock instros of the day, or any particular Latin feel of any sort. The low-E lead parts are pretty big sounding, but since they are unchanging, they don't hold interest for long.

Gear Masher dot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

A racing engine with rods knocking, a riff that's too close to Barrett Strong's "Money," and squealing tires... except for the demented guitar dissonance in some verses, this is just a riff and a jam guitar showoff track.

Candy Apple Blue dot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

The rhythm track here owes it's life to Little Richard's "Lucille," and the lead is the sort of thing p[layers do when they are just jamming... endless repetitions of the same note choked and puked out. Very nonmusical.

Satan's Chariot dot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Progression based, highly repetitious, and without anything approaching variation or arranging. After a relentless romp through the same progression, it suddenly ends, leaving you wondering why they even cut the track.

Hayburner dot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Hokey country ideas, horns honking, hicks dancing, a cutesy rhythm, and jam licks... Fun for a verse or two, but then it becomes monotonous.

Dawn Patrol dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

This is a solid track, quite different from the rest by this band. The melody riff is tasty, surfy, and well suited for the excellent backtrack, with its piano and traveling rhythm. It has a Richie Podolor feel to it, both in basic tone and in the writing. Cool.

Monkey Si dotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

So, just how close can you get to Major Lance's "Monkey Time" without actually being "Monkey Time?" Well, all it takes is the same structure, the same rhythm patterns, and a lead line that is mighty close to "Comin' Home Baby."

Double-A Fueler dot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

Raspy straight pipes, and a cool riff. The structure is "La Bamba," the riff is the bass line from "La Bamba," and then there's the mindless jam in lieu of a melody.

Nite Surfer dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

This tune is like a lesser "Dawn Patrol," with a faster infectious rolling rhythm backtrack, and a slightly less warm lead. Infectious and worth a spin.

Nite Prowler dotdotdot
Hot Rod (Instrumental)

This is quite dry, and the guitar tones are insensitive to the arrangement. The performance is technically good and emotionless, almost empty. It's worth a spin or two, but you'll forget it pretty quickly. Too much of a jam.