Link Protrudi and the Jaymen
Hit and Run! (Get Hip)
by Jon Sarre
Instrumental surf rock is, once ya hunker down and listen to an hour of it, really boring. The discipline and form required sorta straight-jackets the songwriting options, so goes my hypothesis anyhow. The result is ya got a buncha songs that sound very familiar. Covers or originals: they all sound the fucking same: twang, snare, twang, snare, over and over. Oldsters like Dick Dale, the Ventures, and faceless session players like the Surfaris or the Champs pretty much milked the genre dry a long time ago. Current “revivalists” don’t really add much with the exception of showing people a good time (see Man or Astroman or Satan’s Pilgrims sometime).
Anyway, ya got yer surf and then ya got yer Link Wray. Seeing as he started out in the music biz in the early ’50s or thereabouts, you could argue that he’s the daddy of all rock’n’roll instrumentalists, and therefore the surf/drag style came from a glint in Link’s eye. Alla this could lead into a big argument with better informed souls than I, so the important thing here is ya got Wray’s menacing guitar licks, these apocalyptic blues chords, right?, and being ahead of the game like he was, he can’t fit into the confines of any genre, but in the context of “surf” he still kicks Dick Dale’s ass down a flight of stairs, okay?
Now where was I? Link Protrudi And The Jaymen (two thirds of whom are actually two of the clowns from the Fuzztones) are obviously Link Wray fans (but ya probably already sussed that from the name). That still doesn’t make me thrilled to haveta listen to the whole thing, but it could be worse (could be the Fuzztones). The originals are okay, the cover songs – and there’s lotsa covers – sound better, ‘specially the fist-full o’ Link Wray tunes (including a smoking take on “Rumble”). Supposedly this disc is a re-issue of two previously released “outta print import vinyl” LPs, so going out and buying this as soon as humanly possible is also gonna save you money! What a deal.
(PO Box 666 Canonsburg, PA 15317)