Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Original Onions - Grill Skillsdotdotdotdot
artworkColumbus, Ohio's Original Onions take a fresh approach to their songs. Using surf and other instro styles as a foundation, they have generated a unique envelope from which to make music. Most of these tracks are covers, but the arrangements are quite good. This is an mp3 (well, ogg vorbis to be precise) album that can be found at InternetArchive.org. Many players will not read the files. WinAmp (PC) and Audion 3 (Mac OS X) do just fine with it. Aside from the harsh left-right guitar mix, this is a superb set of well played music.
Picks: Pick Up The Pesos, Bobby Doo, Harlem Nocturne, A Shot In The Dark, I Ran, Her Majesty's Secret Service, Fear, Dead Man Walking, Back On The Chain Gang, My Truck, Summer Less, Call Me, Spanish Onions, Rising Guitar, Onions In Space, Music To Watch Girls By, Skapache, Onions A Go Go

Track by Track Review


Pick Up The Pesos dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Pick Up The Pesos" is a lovely Spanish piece with a warm beach feeling. The playing is superb, and the song carries you off to a far away place where there are no clocks and the break is always perfect.

Bobby Doo dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Bobby Doo" has a wonderful chop chord rhythm and aggressive surf splash. The song runs through several stages, all of which portray different facets of the same less than balanced scene on the curl.

Harlem Nocturne dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A wholly original rhythm and great surf guitar lead play this fine Earl Hagen song in a way that it has not been done before. Shimmering tremolo, catchy rhythm, and liquid splash guitar.

A Shot In The Dark dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Henry Mancini's groovy "A Shot In The Dark" is rhythmic and shiny with tremolo. While this is a fairly straightforward arrangement, it's surely very enjoyable. Big splash and jazzy edges.

I Ran dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Great surf guitar rhythm and glissando plash deliver a very original melody line that's warm and sunny in a slightly urban way. The rhythm is pure surf. "I Ran" is a very fine track!

Her Majesty's Secret Service dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Her Majesty's Secret Service" is quirky and kinda hip. Cool rhythm and haunted guitar and sax (or is it another guitar?).

Fear dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Harry Lubin's haunted "Fear" is much spookier than when the Ventures did it. There's a kind of smoky feeling from the sax, and the guitar's tremolo just adds to the ambiance. Way cool!

Dead Man Walking dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

On the dark side of street lies "Dead Man Walking." It uses angular rhythm and double picked danger. It's a very rhythmic track, with an infectious sound and nicely balanced lead-rhythm duet bridge.

Back On The Chain Gang dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

This is a lovely and fluid track with beautiful chords and a haunting melody. There's a sad element to the song, but also a kind of country optimism. Very nice.

My Truck dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

With a warm almost Spanish feel, "My Truck" gently flows in the setting sun of a country afternoon. This is simply a very pretty relaxed song that takes you to an easy place.

Summer Less dotdotdotdot
Country Surf (Instrumental)

"Summer Less" is a light summer's breeze across a cactus dotted plane where the tremolo of the guitar calls to the critters on the horizon. It's a nearly bouncy track with an infectious rhythm and inviting melody.

Call Me dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

What a wonderful transmutation of Blondie's "Call Me." Rhythmic, chunky, playful, and seriously cool! Surf and wonderful arranging! I love this!

Spanish Onions dotdotdot
Gypsy Jazz (Instrumental)

"Spanish Onions" is a jazzy number with a soft and gentle sound. It's a little gypsy, and a lot relaxed. Sax leads and violin adds sensuality.

Rising Guitar dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A rhythm of chop chords infectiously supports a slightly Indian lead guitar. "Rising Guitar" is a very cool song with a rich arrangement that engages you. Splashy and very fun.

Onions In Space dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Circulating keyboard wah-wah, tremolo shimmer, and an early eighties pop rhythm support an infectious song that reminds me a bit of the very early Insect Surfers material from their DC days. Tweaky, and yet very surf worthy.

Music To Watch Girls By dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a somewhat cheesy version of a very cheesy song. It's seriously done, but somehow seems tongue-in-cheek. The arrangement is basic and direct, and the guitar rings.

Skapache dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Skapache" is a ska treatment of Jerry Lordan's often covered "Apache." Totally cool, with a rich ska rhythm and wonderful guitar. This is one of the most original deviations of this fine song!

Onions A Go Go dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a chop chord pattern similar to Paul Johnson's "Duck Waddle," this track is infectious and quite fun. It is arranged somewhat like the Belairs did things. I'm not sure why it's called "Onions A Go Go," since the rhythm and structure are not of the go-go era, but it doesn't matter, 'cuz "Onions A Go Go" is just too fun!