Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Frantics - The Very Best Of The Franticsdotdotdot
artworkThis is another issue of The Complete Frantics on Dolton Records.
Picks: Trees, Richmond Stomp, One Minute Flamenco (For Two Minutes), The Whip, Black Sapphire, Yankee Doodlin', Werewolf, No Werewolf, Delilah, Straight Flush, Ventura Blvd.

Track by Track Review


Walkin' The Beat dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Walkin' The Beat," while a basic fifties style jam with a Northwest jazzy feel, doesn't quite rise above a jam. Previously Unreleased

Trees dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Dramatic and slow, "Trees" features a saucy sax and fifties last dance stroll backtrack. Relatively unremarkable, yet very listenable.

Sweet Cucumber dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

"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.

Dirty Robber dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

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.

Richmond Stomp dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Fog Cutter dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Fifties duel sax sauce served up on a Chuck Rio inspired bed of Northwest groove. Bouncy and fun, but unremarkable.

One Minute Flamenco (For Two Minutes) dotdotdot
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.

Checkerboard dotdot
Pre Surf Lycanthropy (Instrumental)

"Checkerboard" is mostly pumpin' minimalist energy with a jammin' structure. Pretty darn forgettable.

The Whip dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Black Sapphire dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Yankee Doodlin' dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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."

Oh Yeah! dot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Oh Yeah!" is a basic pumpin' fifties sax jam. Previously Unreleased

Werewolf dotdotdotdotdot
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.

No Werewolf dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

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!

San Antonio Rose dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Delilah dotdotdot
Exotica (Instrumental)

"Delilah" moves slowly from shimmering dual vibes and an exotic lush backtrack to the gentle guitar break. Quite a nice track.

Straight Flush dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Ventura Blvd. dotdotdot
Pre Surf (Instrumental)

Introduced like "Walk, Don't Run," and with a catchy sax lead, "Ventura Blvd." is an infectious presurf kinda track. The dual sax lines are like some Chuck Rio tracks. It should have been issued back in the day. Previously unreleased.

Young Blues dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Young Blues" is a long slow drink of water, a jammin' groove with tasteful guitar shimmer and a Northwest jazz combo edge.

Hold It dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Bill Dogget's "Hold It" is presented in a fairly light arrangement. Not more than pleasant. Previously unreleased.