Personnel: Dick Dale (guitar, vocals); Ron Eglit, Rowland Salley (bass); Scott Mathews, Prairie Prince (drums, percussion, background vocals); Kolleen, Jill, Forrest (background vocals).
Recorded at Brilliant Studios, San Francisco, California and Studio D, Sausalito, California.
All songs written by Dick Dale except "Caravan" (Ellington/Tizol), "Caterpillar Crawl" (Hill/Lynch) and "Rumble" (Wray/Grant).
From the electro-shocked opening notes of "Nitro" everything about TRIBAL THUNDER screams classic. This album marks the return of rock and roll legend Dick Dale, King of the Surf Guitar and writer of the legendary single "The Wedge." His twangy, hysterical picking, cascading chordal crashes and grungy, salt-encrusted Stratocaster tone recall the innocence and primal energy of early instrumental rockers like the Ventures, Link Wray, Duane Eddy and Dale himself.
But there's nothing coy or nostalgic about Dick Dale's music. Twin drummers set up a primal beat while overtones from Dale's furious metallic attack create a sonic tidal wave. Dale paints a panorama of rocking instrumental pictures: the California/Mexico border ("Esperanza"), Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" blues ("Shredded Heat"), foregone Indian nations ("Trail Of Tears"), deranged bikers ("The Eliminator"), flamenco dances ("Speardance") and Bo Diddley homeboy rock 'n' roll ("Tribal Thunder").
The king of the surf guitar returns with a vengeance on his first new recording in almost a decade. Every track's a gem, but "Nitro" and the title track certainly do pack a particular wallop all their own. ~ Cub Koda
Rolling Stone (10/28/93, p.81) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...Dick Dale is still running ahead of the pack....A show with Nirvana would be a far more appropiate forum for Dale's brand of TRIBAL THUNDER..."