Tempo Tantrum

The Woggles

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Tempo Tantrum Review

by Mark Deming

Southern gentlemen the Woggles have been one of the most dependably devastating live acts on the garage rock scene since they started out in 1987, and Tempo Tantrum is something of a companion piece to Soul Sizzling 7" Meltdown, their 2007 collection of non-LP single sides from throughout the group's history. However, though this also brings together some fine but hard to find material in one handy package, Tempo Tantrum primarily focuses on the Woggles' instrumental prowess, featuring a dozen (mostly) vocal-free numbers from singles, compilation albums, and the group's archives, all recorded between 1995 and 2006. It wouldn't be the Woggles without some contributions from lead singer the Professor Mighty Manfred, so a few token vocal tunes have been added to the mix, though one, in jolly irony, is a Dick Dale cover (a man who did his best work without a singer), and while there are vocals on "Tempo Tantrum" and "The Elbow Twist," they certainly take a back seat to the rockin' and twangin' guitar work of Flesh Hammer, Montague, and Zorko. Tempo Tantrum is a bit too focused on one area to be a worthwhile career summary, though it does make a case for the group's consistent heroism in the service of rock, from the dripping wet surf assault "Flash Flood" and the neat monster rock opus "The Elbow Twist" to a supercharged cover of the Monkees' "Valerie" and a tip of the hat to their spiritual brethren the Fleshtones, "Theme from the Vindicators." But if you're looking for 30 minutes of good and sweaty rock action, without the human voice making a nuisance of itself, Tempo Tantrum is just what you've been waiting for, and it's enough to convince anyone that nobody throws a rock & roll party like the Woggles.

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