Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Half Tribe - Only Startin'dotdotdot
artworkThe Half Tribe Of Mannasseh were born at the Rajah Temple in Reading Pennsylvania in 1963. They played mostly covers of the day, but were very popular up and down the eastern seaboard. Their music was surf based instrumentally, and top forty frat oriented vocally. Their lead guitarist was J. M. Garroutte. He was backed by Dick "Zack" Zacker on rhythm, John "Hawk" Hawkins on bass, and Dick "Cran" Sammis on drums. Their vocalist was Nick Hilton. The vocals are all familiar to era fans. Heavily influenced by the Kingsmen, they cover Barrett Strong's "Money," and their cheesy dirge-cha-cha "Death Of An Angel," plus the Rolling Stones' "Empty Heart," Gershwin' "Summertime," and the frat standard "Wine Wine Wine." Of the twelve tracks here, four are surf instros. In the style of a restrained Trashmen, they deliver surf instros with a more rhythmic drive than the originals. This album was originally issued in 1964.
Picks: Malaguena, Baja, Surf Battle, San Jose

Track by Track Review


Malaguena dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A fast and pummellicious instro that reminds me of 409 melodically. The guitars are lock-syncked with the drums in a cool rolling cadence, with a restrained but effective energy. Really nice arrangement. Tribal toms, chunky delivery, and too much fun. The feet, they just keep a-moving.

Baja dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Billy Childish tune, churned out with ample grodie guitar tone. Mostly a progression, but interesting enough to hold your attention. Ample energy.

Surf Battle dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Snow Men (a.k.a. The Sunrays) cut this as a single on Challenge a millennia ago. The Nitros have cleaned it up, and given it more power. I've always liked the original, and it's nice to see that it can be really pumped out. fast, precise, tribal, and very infectious.

San Jose dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Mickey Baker tune, slurried out with a grodie fifties instro sound. Progression driven, and frat energized.