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coverpic flag US - Washington - Full Moon 232 - 07/31/15

The Sonics
This Is The Sonics
Revox

The Sonics are living legends. Fact. They appeared in the early 1960s and gave birth to legendary songs like "Psycho", "Strychnine", and "The Witch", as (one of) the true, raw garage rock acts from the time playing and performing simple, hard and fast. The Sonics are the fathers/godfathers/grandfathers of the US garage rock (along with The (Fabulous) Wailers, The Kingsmen, Paul Revere and The Raiders, the Count Five, The 13th Floor Elevators, The Standells, The Trashmen to name but a few). The Sonics and the for-fathers of punk rock and grunge rock. This Is The Sonics is their first proper solo album in 48 years!

Back in the 60s, Sonics put out Here Are The Sonics (1965) and Boom (1966). After roaming the Pacific Northwest for some years, the band fell apart before the 60s faded. There have been a couple of reunions/reformations but the band reunited for real in 2007. Today the quintet counts three of the 'original' five: founding member Larry Parypa (guitar), Gerry Roslie (vocals, keyboard) and Rob Lind (tenor sax), backed with two 'young boys': bass player/vocalist Freddie Dennis (formerly of Freddie and the Screamers, The Kingsmen, The Liverpool 5) and drummer Dustin 'Dusty' Watson (who's played with a long line of bands and artists, from Lita Ford to Boo-Yaa T.R.I.B.E.!). The Sonics have inspired and influenced numerous bands all over the world throughout the 70s, 80s, and 90s - yes even up to and through the 00s. You could namedrop many a punk act from the mid and late 70s (in the UK as well as in USA), as well as many acts from the birth of grunge from the late 1980s (Nirvana included) - which took place in the same US state. This list could be unstoppably long, counting The Dictators, The Cramps, Greg Sage's Wipers, Mudhoney, Nirvana, The White Stripes; Australian bands like Radio Birdman, Lime Spiders, Celibate Rifles, and the Hoodoo Gurus; Sweden's The Nomads and The Hellacopters to name a very, very, very few.

This Is The Sonics was launched 4 months ago, but hey! - What's four months late - we are talking 48 years here... The new record holds 12 tracks, and this is a trip back to old school, no bullshit garage rock. Dealing with fast cars, bad women, and a cheerful and joyful living. Bratty guitar riffs and power chords, steady beats, sax and keyboard driven songs leaning on the the old R'n'B. In glorious mono, of course. There is a certain charm to it all, and The Sonics do well. They are more lively than most (all?) of their contemporaries still going on. Their true to their style and their soul, and the result is an authentic and powerful record of dirt, greasy rock and roll. From the sonic garage. '...got to be cruel to be kind', as they sing in "The Hard Way" (by The Kinks). The Sonics might be cruel, but their truly kind. Most of the songs are (new) originals, but they have included some covers, such as a decent version of Eddie Holland's classic "Leaving Here" (also once treated nice by The Birds) and a take on Willie Dixon's "You Can't Judge A Book By the Cover". Not that I will play This Is The Sonics over and over again, but I am quite impressed of the vitality and the passion of the old boys. Roslie's vocals and Parypa's guitar are still as wild and raw as they were 50 years ago. When they were young. It is never too late to rock'n'roll it seems, it sounds. A couple of flaws, but the overall expression is way cool. There is still some fire in the garage.

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