Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Straitjackets - Encyclopedia Of Sound Volume IIdotdotdotdot
artworkWhile not intended as a commercial release, this CD is stuffed with great stuff. Illusive, but very cool!
Picks: Pile Driver, Boa Constrictor, I Want Cake, Lookey Here, Just A Little Trip, Juke Joint Compound, Funky Twine, Blues Face, Susie X, Hindenburg, Gallstones, Apple Orchard, Hey Joey, Hooligan, Sloppy Joe, Honolulu Vice, Out Of The Shadows, Creepy Part 1, Creepy Part 2, Tennessee Cannonball, Off Broadway, Brazil Nuts, Miller Park, Color My Hair, At The Seashore, Drum Solo #1, Drum Solo #2

Track by Track Review


Pile Driver dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

dark twango in a fairly non-melodic track with very cool double picking and stinging whammy. "Pile Driver" is a very infectious track with danger and a flippant edge. Roots and surf meet head on.

Boa Constrictor dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Boa Constrictor" reminds me of some of Link Wray's stuff, but it has a less crude and angular sound, and the drums are tribal cool! Decidedly riff rock, though it's more engaging than that usually implies.

I Want Cake dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A Bo Diddley beat with bongos and big guitar twang. The muted guitar rhythm is very cool, and the lead lines remind me of "Who Do You Love" the way Quicksilver Messenger Service did it on Happy Trails, but a whole lot edgier! Primal and engaging.

Lookey Here dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Lookey Here" is a bluesy riff rocker somewhat in the mode of "Twine Time," but with great drums!

Just A Little Trip dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Undulating cool with a dry wit. great drums, gutty guitar, and a very nice bass line. "Just A Little Trip" is a simple track that's much more fun than minimalist instros often are.

Juke Joint Compound dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The bluesy riffin' in "Juke Joint Compound" is very infectious. Great edge, and a ton of emotional connection. Really cool!

Funky Twine dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Hinting of Major Lance with Memphis soul, "Funky Twine" is a catchy little number with great drums and rich tone. The smooth bass work really cements this together.

Blues Face dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Heavy slow Bo Diddley influence a la "I'm A Man." Extremely brief at twenty six seconds.

Susie X dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

You might guess that "Susie X" was inspired by "Susie Q," and you'd be right. That hook, some shimmering tremolo, and lurid primal rock emotion. Greasy with edge!

Hindenburg dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Not at all lumbering like you might expect from the title, until you realize that perhaps the root cause is Led Zeppelin. Think 1969 with dryer, more basic rock'n'roll production. Imagine if Jimmy Page could play glissandos!

Gallstones dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Primitive rock'n'roll with a touch of "Jumpin' Jack Flash" raw edges, but with a much smaller combo sound. Pretty darn cool!

Apple Orchard dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Long echoed notes, cardboard drum sound, spooky ambiance, and slide. Pink Floyd drive along the coast in search of space finding only sunset and palms. The drums' sonic values remind me a lot of the drums in Hawkwind's "PXR5," though the song is certainly nothing like that masterpiece.

Hey Joey dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Kick drum rumble, bass groove, spunky guitar jammin', and drive. I love the drums here!

Hooligan dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With the drums and big guitar chords spinning off "We Will Rock You," it's hard to imagine wrestling masks, but then again, it is Los Straitjackets! A cool idea.

Sloppy Joe dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sloppy Joe" is a very nifty tune, part swamp, part combo grind, and all cool. It has a southern rock drawl, and a dry humor grin. Great drums!

Honolulu Vice dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Liberally borrowing influence from "Hawaii Five-0," this is a track with an excellent muted rhythm guitar, and very cool bass. great drums too!

Out Of The Shadows dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Slithering from the shadows on undulating runway drums, "Out Of The Shadows" is part detective and part swivel hips. Grand tone and really groovy drums made whole by perfect bass.

Creepy Part 1 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Muted and lightly revered guitar lays a Henry Mancini-ish backdrop for a shimmering melody line. "Creepy Part 1" is just wonderful!

Creepy Part 2 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The same melody as "Creepy Part 1" but with edge and twang. Grumbly and slightly dark.

Tennessee Cannonball dotdotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Country pickin' and twangin' charm. This groover takes me back to watching Hee-Haw on the black and white. Back porch fun!

Off Broadway dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Borrowing slightly from "On Broadway," this is a soulful number with charm and warmth, and when it liberates parts of "Apache," well, it's just boss!

Brazil Nuts dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a bit of Sergio Mendez influence, "Brazil Nuts" features the right rhythm and beat, especially the percussion. This is lovely and engaging.

Miller Park dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Haunting tremolo and sparkling pop-psych leanings merge for a late sixties am radio ride. it's amazing how cool songs written like this can be in the right arrangement.

Color My Hair dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Color My Hair" is a slow and silky piece with liquid tremolo and a romantic melody. It's a very pretty song!

At The Seashore dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The drums really set this apart, but are by no means the best part. The guitar licks simply sparkle with circular essence before issuing island chords. The bass is subtle, but utterly essential in the composition. Superb!

Drum Solo #1 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

As you might anticipate, "Drum Solo #1" is a drum workout. No lack of talent here!

Drum Solo #2 dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

There are parts of this drum solo that remind me of Cozy Cole. Very well thought out!