Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Sonics - Psycho-Sonic (2003)

If you think Punk started in London in 1977 or New York in 1975 or even Detroit in 1969, you had better take a listen to this. Punk started in the early sixties in America's Pacific Northwest. End of story. This disc contains the songs (along with the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" - a track that is covered here, albeit with the wrong chords) that launched a thousand garage/punk bands. This is what you get when you put a bunch of spotty, angry, musically-challenged young men together in a dank cellar with some Danelectro guitars, Silvertone amps, a Farfisa organ and some crappy drums. It is, even almost 40 years later, truly magical. This is definitely music that parents don't want their kids to hear. Actually, come to think of it, maybe it's music that kids don't want their parents to hear.
The Sonics' sound is noticeably rougher, cruder, and more brutal than that of their musical peers. Although they had a fairly standard instrumental line up for the time, The Sonics made their unique sound with wild arrangements, often disturbing lyrics, peppered with screaming and howling, and electric guitars played through amplifiers customized to achieve the harshest tones possible. Although their chief period of success was coincident with the release of Gibson's first fuzzbox, The Sonics' fuzzy sound was their own creation.
The songs they played were a mixture of garage rock standards ("Louie, Louie"), early rock and roll ("Jenny, Jenny") and original compositions such as "Strychnine", "Psycho", and "The Witch", all based upon simple chord sequences, played hard and fast.
The lyrics of The Sonics' original material dealt with early '60s teenage culture; cars, guitars, surfing, and girls (in songs like "The Hustler" and "Maintaining My Cool") alongside darker subject matter such as drinking strychnine for kicks, witches, psychopaths, and Satan (in the songs "Strychnine", "The Witch", "Psycho", and "He's Waiting", respectively).

Source: Amazon.co.uk & Wikipedia

Tracklist: 1. The Witch, 2. Boss Hoss, 3. He's Waitin, 4. Psycho, 5. Louie Louie, 6. Strychnine, 7. Cinderella, 8. Shot Down, 9. Have Love Will Travel, 10. Don't Be Afraid of the Dark, 11. Dirty Robber, 12. Keep a Knockin', 13. Money (That's What I Want), 14. The Hustler, 15. Jenny Jenny, 16. Hitch Hike, 17. Roll Over Beethoven, 18. Skinny Minnie, 19. Do You Love Me, 20. Walking the Dog, 21. Good Golly Miss Molly, 22. Night Time Is the Right Time, 23. It's Alright, 24. Let the Good Times Roll, 25. Don't You Just Know It, 26. Since I Fell For You, 27. The Witch (Alternate), 28. Psycho (Live), 29. The Witch (Live).

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Knoxx said...

Another gem! Thx a bunch for posting this one :)

RyGar said...

I've been working my way backwards through punk rocks history for along ime, and I discovered these guys on the Nuggets comp. Truly great, primitive, raw, and on the verge of chaos, always. I heard they played in Norway recently, weird. Anyways, without these guys garage music would not have been the same. Thanks.