Friday, May 6, 2011
Favorite Old Garage Band Friday: The Sonics
Perhaps my favorite garage band of the 60s is the iconic Pacific Northwest group known as The Sonics. The Sonics were characterized by the ferocious fuzzy garage rock sound, led by guitarist Larry Parypa, and Gerry Roslie's screaming vocals. The group was founded in Tacoma, Washington in 1960 by Parypa, originally playing R&B, and survived various line up changes. The group eventually solidified when Roslie and several others joined from another local band.
Here is their first single, "The Witch":
Roslie's voice easily transitioned into soul and R&B numbers, and The Sonics albums contains several tracks in that style, including some very nice covers. While that isn't the version of The Sonics that carries their reputation to the present day, I've included one of their torch song covers from the 1966 LP Boom.
"Since I Fell For You"
The flip side of "The Witch" was "Psycho":
In my mind, no discussion of The Sonics is complete without a reference to their version of one of the Pacific Northwest's most famous rock songs -- "Louie Louie". Led by Roslie's vocal performance, The Sonics turn the barroom sing along into an anguished love song.
The Sonics have been cited as an influence by many following bands in the garage and grunge genres. They have reunited in various combinations from time to time for gigs, and in 2010 the group recorded four new tracks.