Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA The Frantics - The Complete Frantics on Dolton
|Some fine tracks, some unreleased and dismissible tracks, and some vital history. The Frantics are the band that originated the amazing "Werewolf" and preceded the ventures on the Dolton label, but failed to chart meaningfully.|
Picks: Straight Flush, Young Blues, Fog Cutter, Black Sapphire, Werewolf, Checkerboard, No Werewolf, The Whip, Delilah, Yankee Doodlin', One Minute Flamenco (For Two Minutes), San Antonio Rose, Trees, Oh Yeah!, Walkin' The Beat, Richmond Stomp, Ventura Blvd., Dirty Robber, Sweet Cucumber, Hold It, Lost Island, Mio Amore, Letter From Jennie, Love Of My Life, Don's Tune, Lost Love
Track by Track Review
Raw rockin' sax over guitars, with an infectious rhythm and beat. The sax lines are smooth and mean but not overbearing, and it lays against the choppy backtrack to create a solid contrast. The guitar leads in the break are very nice indeed. From 1959.
"Young Blues" is a long slow drink of water, a jammin' groove with tasteful guitar shimmer and a Northwest jazz combo edge.
Fifties duel sax sauce served up on a Chuck Rio inspired bed of Northwest groove. Bouncy and fun, but unremarkable.
Exotica's lush sense of percussion and suave runs under a sax instro with a pleasant melody riff. "Black Sapphire" isn't magical or anything, but is a nice example of the slithery side of the Northwest's martini scene.
Pre Surf Lycanthropy (Instrumental)
This is the original, growling with lycanthropic evil and great guitar over tribal toms and a shimmering vibrato second guitar. This is a totally unique and magnificent track! The power of the writing and the highly effective simplicity of the arrangement is stunning. The Frantics' "Werewolf" holds up really well after more than 35 years.
Pre Surf Lycanthropy (Instrumental)
"Checkerboard" is mostly pumpin' minimalist energy with a jammin' structure. Pretty darn forgettable.
WOW!!! This is the undubbed master in stereo for the first time. No werewolves growling, just that amazing tribal masterpiece. This previously unreleased track is worth the price of admission alone. Great guitar, tribal tom toms, shimmering vibrato, and a totally magical arrangement. Stunningly cool! Stereo is dominant rhythm guitar and drums on the left, added lead licks, bass, and gong on the right. Way cool!
This ranting track fires with all barrels, double picks the guitar at times, and pounds the drums. It's not surf, but the energy is certainly in the pocket, and the twin saxes reminds me of the Crossfires... just a little less chunky.
"Delilah" moves slowly from shimmering dual vibes and an exotic lush backtrack to the gentle guitar break. Quite a nice track.
A military cadence and vibes drive the song, with infectious drums and lots of innocent energy. Fun, if not remarkable. In some ways, it's comparable to a light weight variation on the Viscounts' "Wabash Cannonball."
One Minute Flamenco (For Two Minutes)
Flamenco Rock (Instrumental)
This is a simple and very fun track with a sorta chorus-sorta vocal. Lots of classic Spanish influences and a sax line that's more Arabic than Spanish. "One Minute Flamenco (For Two Minutes)" is a very fun track with extra cool percussion.
Vibrato guitar and twirly organ bounce out a standard rockin' rendition of "San Antonio Rose," with a piano lead alternated with the vibrato guitar and sax. Fun and flippant.
Dramatic and slow, "Trees" features a saucy sax and fifties last dance stroll backtrack. Relatively unremarkable, yet very listenable.
"Oh Yeah!" is a basic pumpin' fifties sax jam. Previously Unreleased
Walkin' The Beat
"Walkin' The Beat," while a basic fifties style jam with a Northwest jazzy feel, doesn't quite rise above a jam. Previously Unreleased
A rockin' beat, walking bass line, and infectious guitar rhythm run under a relatively unremarkable riff. There's great energy and quite a bit of speed for the era. Previously unreleased.
Pre Surf (Instrumental)
Introduced like "Walk, Don't Run," and with a catchy sax lead, "Ventura Blvd." is an infectious pre-surf kinda track. The dual sax lines are like some Chuck Rio tracks. It should have been issued back in the day. Previously unreleased.
A lot like "Fanny Mae" without the frantic soul, and with some tasteful guitar lines, "Dirty Robber" rocks with a jam basis and R&B feel. I don't think there's any relationship between this and the Wailers' rockin' vocal. Previously unreleased.
"Sweet Cucumber" is a rollin' Louisiana kind of romp. The rhythm and beat are right out of the Antoine Domino songbook. A fun fifties jam. Previously unreleased.
Bill Dogget's "Hold It" is presented in a fairly light arrangement. Not more than pleasant. Previously unreleased.
Pre Surf (Instrumental)
Deep and moody bass run under a spectacular shimmering vibrato guitar and a distant haunted sax lay out a grand misty island instro. The circular piano riffs are quite cool. This is a softish number with a captivating sensuous sound. Not quite surf, but very close. Previously unreleased.
"Mio Amore" is a slow lounge groove - the kind of thing that might run under a slow dance seen in a black and white Vegas flick. Previously unreleased.
Squishy piano plink and soft rock backtrack, a circular shimmering vibrato riff, and not a lot of development. "Letter From Jennie" is a really cool starting pint, but sounds like there was supposed to be a lead guitar over the top, or maybe even a vocal. Previously unreleased.
Another prom slow dance number, this time with cool piano offset by vibrating guitar. It's not much, maybe even like a slow fifties country ballad, but it has a warmth and friendliness about it. Previously unreleased.
"Don's Tune" is a slow and sinewy number with a bit of vibrato shimmer and a slightly saucy sax. The dual lead part is very cool. Previously unreleased.
Exotic Rock (Instrumental)
Tribal drums a la the Golliwogs' wonderful "Walk On The Water" undulate under a dual sax melody that's emotional and smoky. Slightly exotic and pretty unusual. Previously unreleased.