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Another re-up from the beginning of the blog. Must-haves, both. -Ian!

A rock & roll band from Tacoma, WA, the Sonics’ original members were Gerry Roslie (lead singer, piano, organ), Andy Parypa (guitar), Larry Parypa (bass), Bob Bennett (drums), and Rob Lind (saxophone). Forming in the wake of the early-’60s success of local favorites the Kingsmen and the Wailers (whose Etiquette label they recorded for), the Sonics combined classic Northwest-area teen band raunch with early English band grit (particularly influenced by the Kinks), relentless rhythmic drive, and unabashed ’50s-style blues shouting for a combination that still makes their brand of rock & roll perhaps the raunchiest ever captured on wax.

Lead singer Gerry Roslie was no less than a white Little Richard, whose harrowing soul-screams were startling even to the Northwest teen audience, who liked their music powerful and driving with little regard to commercial subtleties. With hit after hit on the local charts (and influencing every local band that ever took the stage), the band inexplicably was never able to break out nationally, leaving its sound largely undiluted for mass consumption. Breaking up in the late ’60s (after one ill-fated album attempt to water down their style for national attention), the Sonics continue today to be revered by ’60s collectors the world over for their unique brand of rock & roll raunch.

The Sonics that Wailers bassist Buck Ormsby took into a small studio and unleashed on the world show a live band at the peak of its power, ready to mow down the competition without even blinking twice. Their debut long-player (originally issued on the Etiquette imprint) is reprised here with new liner notes by Norton prexy Miriam Linna in the original mono. The flame-throwing hits of “The Witch,” “Psycho,” “Boss Hoss,” and “Strychnine” are aboard, along with versions of “Do You Love Me,” “Dirty Robber,” “Have Love Will Travel,” and “Walkin’ the Dog” that are no less potent. This long-play vinyl reissue also boasts the addition of four bonus tracks: “Keep a Knockin'” (the original B-side of “The Witch”) and three selections from an Etiquette Christmas album, “Don’t Believe in Christmas,” “The Village Idiot,” and “Santa Claus.” Another important chunk of Seattle rock & roll history.

The Sonics’ second album is every bit as explosive and influential as their debut outing, loaded with gritty Northwest rock & roll. Sandwiched in between the abrasive classics of “Cinderella” and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (with the Wailers on backing vocals), the funk sass of “The Hustler” and “Shot Down,” the demonic “He’s Waitin’,” and the sledgehammer, inside-out version of “Louie, Louie” (only three chords to play and they don’t even play ’em) are the band’s straight-ahead takes on old R&B chestnuts like “Skinny Minnie,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” “Don’t You Just Know It,” “Since I Fell for You,” “Hitch Hike,” and a nice barn-burning version of “Jenny Jenny.” Where the Wailers cut down the trees and paved the highway, the Sonics were the first group from their neck of the woods to take that music somewhere wilder than their original inspirations. The second chapter of Northwest rock & roll after you absorb the Wailers’ Golden Crest sides.

-Cub Koda, allmusic.com

DOWNLOAD:
HERE ARE THE SONICS (1965)
BOOM (1966)
320kbps

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3 Comments

  1. Such classic albums!

  2. cool blog, dude. gonna add you to the roll!

  3. yessss! thank you, this rules.


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