Various Artists

Hold the Vocals: Tribute to the Instrumental Music

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For once, a tribute disc by a bunch of nobodies succeeds. (Perennial Seattle rock jesters the Squirrels and the dreamy Trance to the Sun -- who do a Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac cut -- are the only artists I'd heard of!) These folks really know their music, as evidenced by 17 imaginative choices. OK, maybe it's no shock to hear the Chantays' immortal surf standard, the 1963 number four hit "Pipeline," or the Tornados' "Telstar," welcome as they are. But full applause for the taste shown by the Exploding Pintos (the Yardbirds' "Jeff's Boogie"), Eric 4-A & Friends (Captain Beefheart's "Frying Pan"), Waterdogs (Henry Mancini's "Experiment in Terror"), D.A. Sebasstian (Link Wray's "Rumble"), Peter Parker (the Kingsmen's "Haunted Castle"), and more. Freed from the toughest tribute test, a vocal on par with a storied original, these bands stretch out and have a relaxed go at this genre smorgasbord, and it's clear everyone enjoyed themselves. Someone play Brian Wilson this folk-guitar version of his Beach Boys' orchestral classic "Pet Sounds" by Michael R. Bristow -- that was always one of the master's favorites.

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