Various Artists

The Hondells, Vol 4: More Aliases and Early Recordings

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The Hondells weren't really a group per se, but a group of California's best session musicians with producer Gary Usher at the helm who churned out countless surf and hot rod tunes under various names, including the Sunsets, the Ghouls, the Four Speeds, the Competitors, the Go-Go's, the Quads, the Kickstands, and who knows how many other aliases. This is the fourth installment in ATM Records of Germany's attempt to chart this mare's nest of releases, and it includes the entire Ghouls LP, Dracula's Deuce, as well as a couple of loose and ragged tracks by the Indigos, who were one of the touring incarnations of the Hondells. Most of what is here is downright silly, especially tracks like the Ghouls' "Little Old Lady from Transylvania," a takeoff of Jan & Dean's "Little Old Lady from Pasadena," the bizarre "Image of a Surfer" by L.A. DJ Lloyd Thaxton, and instrumental cuts like the ridiculously titled "Shake, Rattle and Rot," but it is all undeniably fun, if hardly the kind of stuff you'd want to hear very frequently. There are a couple of interesting instrumentals featuring the guitar work of Richie Podolor, like the spooky, atmospheric "Dracula's Theme" and the funky "Coffin Nails," and Gary Usher's poignant "Sacramento" is here in a stereo mix, but this set is obviously designed to appeal to collectors of the surf and hot rod genres, while the casual listener is bound to be a bit baffled by it all.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
1 02:04
2 02:32
3 02:05
4 02:07
5 02:03
6 02:44
7 02:33
8 02:12
9 01:50
10 02:27
11 02:11
12 02:41
13 02:18
14 02:00
15 02:31
16 01:55
17 01:50
18 02:01
19 02:19
20
02:23
21 01:57
22 02:24
23 02:52
24 02:30
25 01:44
26 01:56
27
02:11
28
02:00
29
02:00
30 01:52
31 02:21
32
06:25
blue highlight denotes track pick