The History of the Albums – n°255
If you're looking for the perfect retro antidote to get your day off to a great start, look no further than the Sonics. Considered one of the first punk bands by reputation like the Kinks, the 2 bands represent the vast majority of influences that later bands in the entire Punk/Garage Rock family would follow, to this day. It's not for nothing that Sonics is said to have influenced legendary bands like The Stooges, MC5, The Cramps, The Ramones, not to mention our more contemporary bands and artists. If you don't know the Sonics yet, I could describe them to you in this way. You all take the energy, the Rhythms and Blues musicality and the hysterical way Little Richard or Chuck Berry used to sing, and make it even dirtier, more distorted, until it gets so cavernous that it turns you into a raging beast. For the time, the Sonics were seen as madmen by some, adored by others, they would have deserved the nickname The Animals more than the band itself. The music of Sonics is brutal, aggressive while keeping a certain melodic rhythm, and voluntarily wild. Led by Gerry Roslie, a singer out of the ordinary, which required not to push his partners to give all that has, used cries (the famous "Wah-ooh) and delivering lively songs that we believe recorded with a microphone. Sonics is the symbol of a new youth, of an uncomplicated ardor that does good, and that ages the old idols of Rock n Roll.
Initially the first group Sonics was formed in 1960 in Tacoma by Larry Parypa. Until 1964 the group knew multiple formations and different styles, approaching at first the classic garage/surf rock instrumental group. There was even a time when the band included a singer named Marilyn Lodge. At the beginning of the 60's, garage rock didn't really have the attention of the general public, it was mainly reserved for underground communities, which probably explains the difficulties they had to be a stable band that managed to impose itself. At the end of 1963, everything was going to change when the Parypa brothers recruited drummer Bob Bennett and especially keyboardist Gerry Roslie, who quickly took over the lead vocals. A metamorphosis that takes the Sonics one step further. From that moment on, the band starts to perform on more prestigious venues. It is necessary to know that the very first origins of Garage Rock and Proto-punk were born in the northwest of the United States, in Tacoma or Portland. Influenced by the Wailers or the Kingmens who are the main pioneers of these musical styles, the Sonics manages by their personalities, their other influences Rhythms and Blues and their own style to concretize the work of its pioneers. The story is so beautiful, that it is Buck Ormsby, The Wailers' base-site, who signed them to their own label.
In November 1964, the Sonics released their very first single The Witch which quickly became a local hit. Despite the wild form and theme of the music, the Sonics managed to show their atypical style. After Louis Louis (from the Kingmens - 1963), You Really Got Me (from the Kinks -1964), The Witch became the third real reference in Proto-Punk/Garage Rock. To this day, this single remains their greatest success of esteem. Like this first song, the Sonics show a crazy talent to create an atmosphere of both rebellion and dancing and contagious energy. The content of The Witch was so dark and aggressive that the single never achieved national success. It was only in retrospect that The Witch and the rest of the Sonics' songs were recognized as innovative and influential punk anthems. While The Witch is a symbol of the Sonics' music and spirit, the band later had other references that were almost as important in creating the legend they were. Their second single Psycho or the very underestimated Strychnine (no single, just a track from their first album) for example are new demonstrations of the Sonics' talent and madness. Recorded in 1964, their first album: Here Are The Sonics became an absolute punk reference to be held obligatorily in their discography. Although the album is composed of 8 covers, mainly rhythm and blues and rock n roll, the Sonics managed to put their musical paws on them. If I have to sum up the main energy of the album, it's that the Sonics' music had to be played as loud as possible, going to the limit of saturation, without wasting any time, releasing all the possible forces, which allowed the Sonics to have such dirty, hostile sounds and rendering. In addition to having written the 4 emblematic songs, Roslie has been able to inscribe himself among the most amazing and brilliant singers and musicians in the history of music. At that time, no one was capable of being as brutal as the Sonics. You might think, "but just because it's brutal doesn't mean it's necessarily good. Well, I would say that they managed to push the limits that the music industry and governments imposed at that time, without being ashamed or afraid to explore bizarre themes like a novelist would have done. The main thing is that the Sonics are not raw to be totally raw, they know how to show the hearing of their musical talent through the energy and what you feel deep down inside.