Nick Saloman of the Bevis Frond once again invites us to join him in the obscure pleasures of little-known pop, R&B, and jazz instrumental sides of the '60s and '70s with this collection. A number of the selections featured on Return of the Instro-Hipsters are so obscure that even Saloman isn't sure just who is responsible for them (though he offers some educated guesses on the artists behind such names as Sharks, Oliver Bone, and the Masked Phantom), but there are a good share of solid grooves and kicky melodies to be found here from a number of gifted little-knowns. If you went to the movies in the '70s, "Soul Thing" by Tony Newman will sound familiar, while flautist Harold McNair solos over a Dave Brubeck-influenced piano groove on "The Hipster," Jerry Allen demonstrates new uses for game calls on "Fuzzy Duck," Thunder Road's synthesized version of "Peter Gunn" beats Art of Noise's variation on the theme by more than 15 years, "The Brooke Bond Beat" by Cliff Adams may be the most swingin' tea commercial ever, and the Outer Limits serve up some tough, moody rock, appropriately titled "Black Boots".
The success of the Austin Powers movies rekindled an interest in everything groovy, swinging and mod. The Instro Hipsters a Go-Go responded in kind, serving up fun but mostly forgotten instrumentals from the '60s and early '70s that sound equally good in a bachelor pad or discotheque. Instro Hipsters a Go-Go, Vol. 3 is a Wall of Sound made up of twangy surf guitars, tumbling drums, flourishes of strings and brass, and funky organs, especially on classic instrumentals like "Cherokee" and "Raunchy," which have been given mod makeovers here by the Mitch Murray Clan and the Ray McVay Sound. Harry Stoneham's "Mogul/I Spy/The Avengers" nods to the spy movie and TV show fetish of the time, while Shocking Blue's "Ackla Ragh"'s trippy sitars allude to the '60s and '70s fascination with Indian music. Though it's more eclectic than some other volumes in this series, this collection makes for very entertaining mood music that still conjures up this swinging, stylish era.