Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Les Jaguars - Vol. 1dotdotdotdot
artworkWhat a marvelous cassette! These Canadians were likely a band to reckon with. Their clean echoed sound bordered surf and American late fifties guitar rock, and their writing was excellent, as was their ability to rearrange classics.
Picks: Maria Elena, Supersonic Twist, Mer Morte, Berceuse Twist, N'Aie Pas Peur, Le Marchand De Melons, Parce Que, Attaque, Twist Et Chante, Le Repos Du Jaguar, Arvida, Nous Voici, Aventures Dans Les Iles

Track by Track Review

Maria Elena dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Maria Elena" has been recorded endlessly by MOR acts, and a number of rock bands as well. This version features echoed lead and rhythm, with the rhythm damped and plucked, and the lead sustained. The slow pace and exceptionally good picking make this a damn cool instro in the Canadian style that lies between the Shadows and American guitar.

Supersonic Twist dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Monkeying with pickslides up and down the neck to simulate jets, "Supersonic Twist" eventually yields to a riff rocker essentially based on Little Richards' "Lucille." The frantic echoed break sets it apart.

Mer Morte dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Watery whammy and an island sounding lead, with damped plucked and echoed rhythm work over a slow backtrack, delivering a very visual evening on the lagoon vision. Very suave.

Berceuse Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Berceuse Twist" open like an MOR sorta thing, but quickly becomes a fifties rocker. Progression dominated, its structure is pure late fifties guitar rock.

N'Aie Pas Peur dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"N'Aie Pas Peur" is a very playful track, with a lilting guitar line and laughing backtrack. Mid tempo and enjoyable. It's essentially a variation on Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs' "Wooly Bully."

Le Marchand De Melons dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Le Marchand De Melons" is a pretty darn surfy version of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man," made famous by Mongo Santamaria. Double picking and moderate tempo, and a walking bass line. This is a priceless bit of morphology. Excellent tone and fluid performance. If the Lively Ones cut this, it would be a lot like this! hey wait! they did under the mane the Surf Mariachis!

Parce Que dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bearing some relationship to the concept of the slower Lively Ones' tunes, "Parce Que" is pretty, fluid, watery, and romantic. An excellent track, like it was strait out of the Longshoreman's Hall in 1963.

Attaque dotdotdot
Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

Pre-surf attitude, and energy to spare. This drum pounder "attacks" the listener, as the title implies. Almost surf, but with a slightly more fifties sound.

Twist Et Chante dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Twist Et Chante" is a cove of the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout" with one eye on surf and the other on the brothers. It's wet and slushy, solid and playful. Too cool.

Le Repos Du Jaguar dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

great slowly dribbled damped chords behind a Link Wray-ish strollin' lead and a walking rhythm section. Haunting and warm, like the Viscounts were on occasion, but without the vibrato.

Arvida, Nous Voici dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Cool use of echo on the rhythm guitar, and a gutty Link-like lead progression, with some nearly chicken bop pickin'. The foot-stompin' beat under the main line creates a dramatic back road feel. Quite cool. Los Straitjackets should do this, Eddie Angel would love it.

Aventures Dans Les Iles dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Aventures Dans Les Iles" is a splendid version of the theme to "Adventures In Paradise," surfed up only by the Challengers back in the day. Islandic, whammified, and rich. Too cool. The fifties backbeat makes it an island unto itself.