Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
ZZ and de Maskers - Dracula - The Complete Collectiondotdotdot
artworkBefore coming across this 1999 double CD release, I had not heard of this band. they were Dutch, and sported a sound born of the Shadows, but often more gutsy. Even their lite-rock product was a lot less slushy than the Shadows. The liner notes are quite extensive, and the two discs contain the complete output of ZZ and de Maskers, all in mono.
Picks: Quizas, Quizas, Quizas, Goldfinger, North Sea Melody, Till, Spanish Tears, James Bond 007, Ave Maria No Morro, Cadillac, Greensleeves, Beat Girl, Formula V Special, La Comparsa, Tamara

Track by Track Review

Quizas, Quizas, Quizas dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

A haunting guitar melody with a whistling organ behind in the European tradition. Recorded in December of '63, "Quizas, Quizas, Quizas" is a very pretty song in the rock instro idiom. Great drums!

Goldfinger dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

Whistling the introductory melody line, ZZ and de Maskers move into a pleasant version of this familiar film theme. While this doesn't jump off the table at you, it is a very good version. From 1963.

North Sea Melody dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

"North Sea Melody" is more elevator than some here, or maybe it's fairer to say it's more carnival like. Either way, I found it to be much less enduring and interesting. From 1964.

Till dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

This 1964 instro meanders between lite rock and carnival ride. Very pretty guitar work over a fluffy backtrack.

Spanish Tears dotdotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

The organ is less a whistle and more like many period singles. The guitar line is European in sound and almost Russian in structure. This is a very cool song with an endearing sound and almost island chords. Excellent!

James Bond 007 dotdotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

John Barry's famous film score is very nicely done. Not in your face, but slightly loud fluid with occasional rising "whoops." This is a unique arrangement.

Ave Maria No Morro dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

"Ave Maria No Morro" is a very pretty and somewhat subdued track with some very nicely played mandolin style guitar lines. Hauntingly romantic.

Cadillac dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

This is a bouncy and somewhat gutty song with a great melody line and inviting edge. The drummer goes nuts in a most happy fashion. I half expected an instrumentalization of Vince Taylor's "Brand New Cadillac," both because of the title and the number of Northern European covers from the period.

Greensleeves dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

This is a relatively common arrangement of "Greensleeves," but with great drums and a bit more intensity than many from this period. The organ bridge is pretty cool too.

Beat Girl dotdotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

John Barry great film score "Beat Girl" is very well done. The great drums make it more tribal than most, and the twang is very pleasing. Not as intense as the original, yet more aggressive and whammified.

Formula V Special dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

"Formula V Special" is a Ventures-like song with hot rods overdubbed. Not really more than a jam.

La Comparsa dotdotdot
European (Instrumental)

"La Comparsa" is a very pretty and almost haunting song with a sad edge and emotional Hank Marvin feel.

Tamara dotdot
European (Instrumental)

Euro-pop bounce and long echoed sustain deliver a playful melody. The drums are easily the strongest element of the recording.