The Sonics

This Is the Sonics (Revox USA)

Phases & Stages

When the Sonics last cut an LP, the Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Rolling Stones were redefining popular music, and the Vietnam War continued escalating. Saxophonist Rob Lind, one of three original Sonics in the current lineup, eventually shipped out to southeast Asia as a fighter pilot. Fifty years later, the Tacoma proto-punks are still recording in the red and in mono, with original producer Buck Ormsby replaced by Detroit studio genius Jim Diamond. They're more punk at 70 than a truckload of Sex Pistols 45s, and still decimate every other band in your record collection. The Hoodoo Gurus ("Be a Woman") and Eighties-era Kinks ("The Hard Way") get covered alongside Willie Dixon ("You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover") and Marty Robbins ("Sugaree"), all as rave-ups. Jerry Roslie retains the most tonsil-shredding scream in recorded history, and Larry Parypa's guitar continues to peel paint. Fealty to any band of aging delinquents whose idea of social protest is a song called "Save the Planet," featuring the payoff line, "It's the only one with beer!" (The Sonics scorch Red 7 on Sunday, June 14.)

***.5

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