Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Les Fantomes - et Leurs Big Sound Guitares Vol. 1dotdotdot
artwork18 instrumentals from a fine French band, on vinyl, and hard to come by. Get the CD with both volumes on it.
Picks: Golden Earrings, Fort Chabrol, Original Twist Guitar, Shazam, Cafard, Train Fantome, Mere Toi, Twist 33, Walk Don't Run, Marche Twist, Je Ne Veux Pas T'aimer, Watch Your Step, No Man's Land, La Shlap

Track by Track Review


Golden Earrings dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Daniel Flapp classic melody, first a hit for Marlene Dietrich, is done with great reverb sustained tone and the flavor of surf tonally with a rock beat. A very nice track.

Fort Chabrol dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a great track. It borders on surf a lot from a tone standpoint, with Hank Marvin-esq playing and a great rock beat. "Fort Chabrol" is a rock solid recording with real charm. Slightly spaghetti westernish, with a very attractive sound.

Original Twist Guitar dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Original Twist Guitar" is a nifty riff rocker. It's melody line cycles a bit, and changes just enough verse to verse, with some really cool variations. The muted break is very surfy. A really cool track.

Shazam dotdotdot
Country Rock (Instrumental)

Duane Eddy's hit is done with spunk and charm, and country edge. Sparkling tone and a nearly banjo rhythm guitar, along with excellent drums, make "Shazam" a very fun track.

Cafard dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Cafard" doesn't sound at all like its title might suggest. "Cockroach" (really) led me to expect something kinda goofy and fun, or perhaps gross, but this is a lovely slow melodic romantic song with a bit of a sad feeling and island chords.

Train Fantome dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Galloping bass and drums and romp with an open range ecstasy beneath a slightly sad melody guitar that's half way between surf and the desert, and a very cool rhythm guitar. "Ghost Train" has just a hint of haunted ambiance, but it is mostly a marvelous traveling song. I like this a lot!

Mere Toi dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Mere Toi" is a slow and pretty song with a sad melody that flows like water in circulating eddies. Very nice.

Twist 33 dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Twist 33" is a basic rock intro riff rocker. It's an infectious number in some ways, but in others, it's just well done. Great drums romp in the break with frantic energy. A moody voice announces "33" in French from time to time.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very well done cover of The Ventures' 1960 recording of Johnny Smith's venerable tune. Great drums and bass, and superb lead playing.

Marche Twist dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Marche Twist" ("Twist Walk") uses an almost military cadence and a simple but elegant melody riff. It's a very nicely done tune with occasional surf whammy.

Je Ne Veux Pas T'aimer dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Je Ne Veux Pas T'aimer" ("I Do Not Love You") is a pretty song with a bit of intensity in the lead tone, and some really good drumming. Island cool and whammified, it really grows on you as it progresses.

Watch Your Step dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

"Watch Your Step" is all about the trembling delay on the lead guitar, which provides a sort of rainy day feeling. It's a fine song in the European mold.

No Man's Land dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Great twangy coolness abounds in "No Man's Land." It's a bouncy and infectious echo laden rocker with surf creds. The melody riff is unique and very catchy. Recorded in 1962, this same song would appear a year later rerecorded by The Snow Men (future Sun Rays) under the title "Ski Storm."

The Mexican dotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

The Shadows' "The Mexican" is played prettily with heavy echo on the guitar. While very competent, this is mostly dismissible.

Mustang dotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

This is a crude take of "Mustang," with too much bass, which is also distorted. Developmentally interesting, and arranged somewhat differently than the release version.

La Shlap dotdotdotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Big drums and great drums play off each other. The melody riff is a cross between "No Man's Land" and "What'd I Say." Great energy and bounce, and especially tough drums! The way the drum solo and bass work together is reminiscent of some psych jams a few years later, or maybe Sandy Nelson.

Jamin The Twist Part 1 dotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

Big drum work pops up from time to time, while the guitar twangs and jams. If not for the drums, "Jamin The Twist Part 1" would be only a jam. Totally non melodic.

Jamin The Twist Part 2 dotdot
Surf Rock (Instrumental)

More jammin' rampage.