Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The Illusions: Jezabel/Nite Mare (Round 1018)

Remember the Marlow Stewart and the Illusions review a few entries ago? Well, this is the same crew sans Stewart. This single came out in 1963, the year before "Earthquake" and was recorded under similar one-mike conditions. (I recommend the superb book "Surfin Guitars: Instrumental Surf Bands of the Sixties" by Robert J. Dailey in which drummer Tom Brown tells the whole story.) But man, oh man, if any surf instro can be defined as killer, this one definitely is!

I'm talking, of course, about "Jezabel," a song that's been covered a zillion times, but this one lets the Fender guitars do all the talking. It kicks off with a warp-speed drum beat and then loud, twangy guitars explode all over the place, with a sax trying vainly to makes its way through all that noise. This instro mayhem, despite a couple of quick breaks, keeps steady all the way up to the point when the song up and quits. In the meantime, you're in surf instro heaven.

"Nite Mare," the B-side, while not quite as righteous as "Jezabel," is not to be counted out either. You get much of the same Fender assault as before, but this time at a slower, creepier pace. Also, the band does battle with this eerie wind sound effect and a few bells. This one wouldn't be out of place on a mix tape of Halloween tunes, so it's definitely worth your time. But "Jezabel" is still the real deal here.

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