Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Hornets - Motorcycles U.S.A.dotdot
artworkMuch less interesting on the whole than their Big Drag Boats USA LP, this album continues with derivative and often prior decade sounds separated by motorcycles racing.
Picks: On The Track, In The Pits, Bike Talk, The Big Race, The Big Iron, Over The Top, Cross Country Run, Off The Line, Hare and Hound, The Fastest Throttle, Shotdown, Broadside

Track by Track Review


On The Track dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

This is so close to Lonnie Mack's "Wham!" that's it's separated only by a some guitar fluff and the bridge from Mack's classic single. Some actual loud guitar lines give it a bit of energy, but it's just too derivative.

In The Pits dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Some reverb, some borrowed Paul Johnson lines, and some really cheesy organ fluff. It sounds like a blend of the Piltdown Men and the Challengers, with racing bikes coming and going. While very riffy, it's still interesting.

Bike Talk dotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Studio mung... and aside from the ultra low grumbly guitar, it could have been pumped out of any Memphis session. It has that Stax-Volt groove and repetition, like it was just hoping Steve Cropper was on guitar. Hey, maybe he was...

The Big Race dot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

A riff, a horn section, the feel of 3 AM in a Memphis studio, and not a melody in sight. Pumpin jammin' organ, guitar, and the feel of the Bar-Kays slightly edged out. Completely dismissible.

The Big Iron dotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

The Vibra-Sonics' "Drag Race" is the basis for "The Big Iron." It's a lot less infectious and wild, but surely based on it, with the same slides and chords.

Over The Top dot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

"Over The Top" doesn't ever develop, and sports that fifties sax wankin with the sound of filler. More horns and low down guitar jammin' in search of a song. Quite a ways from interesting, and not even remotely memorable.

Cross Country Run dotdotdot
Champs (Instrumental)

"Cross Country Run" is right out of the Champs' songbook, with a cool hook and horn fills. It lacks the Champs' Latin charm, but certainly has their basic sound. Ultra simple riff with an interesting break, it seems to hold your attention well enough.

Off The Line dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

"Off The Line" sounds like King Kurtis at the drag races, with that Memphis soul sound and chumpy beat. OK, but hardly worth seeking out.

Hare and Hound dotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Pure studio jammin', "Hare and Hound" doesn't ever arrive. It's just flows along in a groove, like so many of the studio project instros of the period.

The Fastest Throttle dot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

With a chumpy fifties beat and sound, "The Fastest Throttle" is completely without redeeming value. Just a riff and a jam and a horn section.

Shotdown dot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

Like a cross between the Piltdown Men and the Pastel Six, "Shotdown" is gimmicky but doesn't make the cut. Forgettable.

Broadside dotdotdot
Motorcycle (Instrumental)

"Broadside" is a Bo Diddley rip off. It has some interesting sounds and that infectious diddley bow rhythm, and is pretty spunky. Riffy unmelodic and yet fun.