Introducing the Sonics [Bonus Tracks]

by: The Sonics

Despite a title implying a debut album, this was actually the Sonics' third and final LP (at least in terms of what they issued while they were still together). The record showed the band progressing in that they were writing most of their own material and adapting a somewhat more contemporary 1960s garage rock sound than their previous records had boasted, without as much of a '50s R&B base to their approach. As fierce as their pounding arrangements were, however, the songs -- centered as they were around basic piledriving bluesy riffs -- weren't as good as those of the best of their American garage peers. Too, the record's snapshot of the band as they were in 1966 was blurred a bit by the inclusion of their previous regional hit singles "The Witch" and "Psycho"; though those were classic primal slabs of garage rock, they'd already been circulated on vinyl long before this LP was issued. Nevertheless, the album does have a bunch of good cuts on which they sound like a more simpleminded American variation of the Yardbirds, like "You Got Your Head on Backwards," "Like No Other Man," a sledgehammer cover of the Lovin' Spoonful's "On the Road Again," "I'm Going Home" (with its stairways-descending riff), and the fuzzed-out "High Time." The 2004 CD reissue on Sundazed adds four bonus tracks, all but one of them crazed covers of old rock & roll songs, the exception being Gerry Roslie's suitably lecherous "Dirty Old Man." ~ Richie Unterberger

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