Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Revels - Intoxicadotdotdot
artworkThe Revels recorded Church Key and created an instro standard covered by the minions. They were a Central Coast band, with a decidedly frat orientation, and not very dissimilar from the the Pacific Northwest bands of their day, except for the overlay of the surf lifestyle on what they did. Their recording range from downright cool and fun to modestly interesting. Their impact on the music scene far outweighed their own success, and the legend lives on. They were pioneers of sorts, and definitely figure in the early history of developing surf.
Picks: Intoxica, Sano, The Monkey Bird, Church Key, Vesuvius, It's Party Time, Revellion, Comanche, Tough Soul, Soft Top, [Like] Tequila, Rampage, Good Grief, Six Pack, Long Board, Vesuvius, Church Key, Good Grief, Six Pack

Track by Track Review


Intoxica dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

This track sports the same sort of laughter and brew sounds that "Church Key" sports, but is less interesting. It's a fine tune, of course, but this is a pretty slow version, and relatively uninspired, though the sax if quite hot.

Sano dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Sano is slang for sanitary, as in clean, as in spiffy, as in buff... This is a basic progression number, R&B based, and without much unique character, though it does have a certain frat bash meanness. It's primal and chunky, and quite typical of period frat instros.

The Monkey Bird dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Exotica buffed up for the rockin' frat crowd, like a precursor to the limbo/luau trend. It's soulful, sexy, and tribal. In some ways, it's similar to Tequila. Quite a nice track.

Church Key dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The Revels had been playing for quite a while before laying down the classic slang-for-can-opener titled "Church Key" with producer Norman Knowles' girl friend Barbara Atkins giggling away. Danny Darnold is the lead player here, and Norman does duty on the sax. If you're impressed with their edgy energy.

Vesuvius dotdotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

This has long been a fave of mine. The Sentinals' version is totally killer. This is more raw, more primal. Chunky, rhythmic, and mean. The damped guitar work is too cool.

It's Party Time dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Frat house R&B party rock. Nothing special.

Revellion dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A less melodic more stompic "Church Key"-like tune. Very mean R&B rant.

Comanche dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the tune that wailed in Pulp Fiction. Howling honking sax Indian flavored "Navaho Trail" kinda tune with major edge. San Luis Obispo's Revels cut "Comanche" with more guts and danger than just about anything else in their repertoire.

Tough Soul dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Stereo version of the tune so many bands recorded back then. It lies somewhere between the Pachuko Soul trend and the Central Coast R&B surf thing.

Soft Top dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

A follow up to "Church Key," much in the same vein, with a two note melody. Just a drinking song without a purpose.

[Like] Tequila dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very cool combination of "Church Key" and "Tequila" with the best of each held together in an infectious way. The melody is "Church Key," while the style is "Church Key." Quite a refreshing arrangement.

Rampage dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Screaming kids, fifties sax riffs, and fifties wow-wow guitar stuff, with Bill Haley-isms and dance party themes. No melody, just an "In The Mood" kinda track.

Good Grief dotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

This is a fifties instro, with everything that implies, no melody, sax noises, and screams. It's from vinyl sources, and shows a lot of distortion at the high end.

Six Pack dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Chunky rhythmic track with cool piano in a jam format with no melody to speak of.

Long Board dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

A cool riff and rhythm, but without a lead line, it's just a backdrop.

Vesuvius dotdotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

This has long been a fave of mine. The Sentinals' version is totally killer. This is more raw, more primal. Chunky, rhythmic, and mean. The damped guitar work is too cool.

Church Key dotdotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Yet another fine version of this, their only "hit." This is minus the annoying vocal overdubs from Barbara Adkins, and is very clean. Hot track!

Good Grief dotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

This is a fifties instro, with everything that implies, no melody, sax noises, and screams. It's from vinyl sources, and shows a lot of distortion at the high end.

Six Pack dotdotdot
Alcohol Drenched Rock (Instrumental)

Chunky rhythmic track with cool piano in a jam format with no melody to speak of.