Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Rumblers - Bossdotdotdot
artworkThis band still demands that you not call them a surf band. They did some cool surf, and quite a bit of cool R&B, and were mostly an instro band. Their big hit "Boss" was followed by "Boss Strikes Back," "Son Of Boss," and "Tootenanny" as further attempts at the charts. The drummer was Adrian Lloyd, whose other band Adrian & the Sunsets were a surf band. This CD is their album, plus some tracks, but not all of their output appears here.
Picks: Wild Weekend, Boss, Boss Strikes Back, It's A Gass, Slippin', Boss Drums, Pack Rat, Waimea [The Angry Sea], Summertime Blues, Bashful, Maid 'N Japan, Night Scene, Night Train, Harlem Nocturne

Track by Track Review


Wild Weekend dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is much surfier than the Rockin' Rebels' original, chunkier too. They had a knack for ominous sax and chunky sound.

Boss dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the Rumblers lone national hit, and was the basis for their follow up singles "Boss Strikes Back," "Son of Boss," and "Boss Drums." Heavily R&B based, rhythmic and grumbly, its catchy thump and honkin' grodiness are essential listening for ant fan of the genre.

Wiggle Wobble dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

A pedestrian version of Les Cooper's hit.

Rumbling dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Tribal drums, chunky rhythms, and an R&B feel. It's the kinda thing that the Las Vegas bands did while the strippers did the bump and grind.

Boss Strikes Back dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Boss Strikes Back" is a perfect followup to "Boss." It's derivative enough to be familiar, but different enough to satisfy. A bit less dangerous and up tempo. It's also more surfy. An excellent track!

It's A Gass dotdotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Another followup single that didn't make it. A sax driven surfy rod-based number. Way too fun.

Slippin' dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cool tribal saxy moody primal. Naturally, it's the Rumblers. Not like "Boss," but not dissimilar either. A progression for the sweaty. Previously unreleased.

Son Of Boss dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Yet again, they worked hard to follow the success of Boss, but alas it wasn't to be. This is a marginally interesting R&B based number.

Boss Drums dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is the Rumblers lone national hit, and was the basis for their follow up singles "Boss Strikes Back," "Son of Boss," and "Boss Drums." Heavily R&B based, rhythmic and grumbly, its catchy thump and honkin' grodiness are essential listening for ant fan of the genre.

All Night Long dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

This perennial party favorite rant from the fifties sees new life here, if not new ideas. Frat band standard in a frat band arrangement.

Pack Rat dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

One of the most surfy instros the Rumblers ever cut. It has a simple progression, a whining sax in the background, and a "Let's Go" drum cadence. This has a staying power that transcends it's simpleness. "Pack Rat" also called "Surf Rat."

Waimea [The Angry Sea] dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This highly unusual track features the ugliest grodiest bass ever - mostly sounding like cabinet rattle without the bass notes... really cool! It's choppy, dark, brooding, and angular. A great track to augment a surf set.

Summertime Blues dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

It starts out with a cool jazz intro, but quickly evolves into a pretty straight ahead instro cover. Not inspiring, just rare. Previously unreleased.

Sweet Potato dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

R&B based sax lead number with a little white soul, but not much else. Mostly just a jam kinda thing.

Roll Off dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Screaming fun, R&B jammin' energy, and a fifties progression. tasty party fun, but not very interesting.

Bashful dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Slow sleazy soul, sax seasoned romantic jackknife music. The salsa rhythms are pretty cool.

The Hustler dotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Using the Night Train riff, "The Hustler" doesn't really rise above it. A sax noodles overhead, but never lands. Just obscure.

Maid 'N Japan dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a cutesy number, based on trite oriental melody styles, but the arrangement is quite unusual, and the effect is a nifty period piece. Issued as by The Nylons. Cool track.

High Octane dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Energetic Jimmy Crack Corn progression and soulful horns. Just so-so.

Night Scene dotdotdotdotdot
R&B Surf (Instrumental)

Simply the best damn tune the Rumblers ever laid down! It is slow, moody, saxy, and has a cool cadence. The Eliminators cover this extremely well. One hell of a great track. Magnetic.

Night Train dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

James Brown's classic, R&B sax ground, hanky squirty, cool.

Harlem Nocturne dotdotdot
R&B (Instrumental)

Earl Hagen wrote this classic, and the Viscounts introduced it to the rock audience. This is a variation on their arrangement. It has that On The Waterfront foggy coolness. Nice track.