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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Here Are the Sonics

The Sonics

1965

Buy At Rough Trade
Here Are the Sonics
Album Summary

Here Are The Sonics (stylized as !!!Here Are The Sonics!!!) is the debut album by American garage rock band the Sonics, released in March 1965. The album features the original songs "The Witch" (a minor regional hit), "Psycho", "Boss Hoss" and "Strychnine", along with an assortment of rock and roll and R&B covers.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.18

Votes

10883
Genres
Rock

Reviews

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Thu Sep 16 2021
1

“!!!Here Are The Sonics!!!” by The Sonics (1965) I wonder how many people would have bought this record if they had left off the six exclamation points? This album is of interest only to those recorded music ‘genealogists’ who fondly ponder “Who influenced who?”, a topic which is overrated and of limited critical value (especially when it comes to punk). Only four of the twelve songs in this non-cohesive collection are original. The eight covers are not covers of obscure compositions (which can be artful), but are rather recycles of major hits by other artists, whose performances are far superior to The Sonics. As a matter of fact, the attempt to seriously listen to The Sonics perform The Contours’ “Do You Love Me?”, Chuck Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven”, etc. is impeded and distracted by memories of the original sounds. These covers are pop music at its worst. (“Night Time Is the Right Time” is painful. Please don’t listen to this track. You’ve been warned.) So why do we pull !!!Here Are The Sonics!!! out of the attic? I’m not sure. With primitive engineering that completely muddles the mix, and a small-room ambience that induces claustrophobia, the record was bad from the get-go. One wishes that the people who produced the first digital version would have inserted scratches and dust pops to suggest the ‘sound’ of musty ‘smell’. It is worth noting that in the original compositions “Strychnine”, “Psycho”, and “The Witch”, singer/songwriter Gerry Roslie pushes a few lyrical boundaries, but in retrospect, it’s rather inconsequential. Other groups at the time were far more revolutionary. And if I have to listen to one more screamed “Wow!” by Roslie, I swear I’ll warp this vinyl with a blow dryer and play it for my in-laws. Put this one back in the attic. 1/5

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Thu Jun 24 2021
1

hmm. After suffering through a number of tracks, I did a little recon on this band as to ... well, why they're in this 1001 list at all. "Major influence" on garage and punk bands...simple chord progressions...tonal aggression." ... vocals: "wwWOWWWWWWWW!!!!!" <lather/rinse/repeat ad nauseum> Just because you're among the first to create a subgenre of not enjoyable noisy music doesn't really make you a legend IMO. Then again, to each their own :P It's not my bag. (the covers were not terrible, admittedly. If I were being particularly snarky I'd accuse them of sprinkling them perfectly throughout the album to prevent some ppl from turning it off...) 2/10 1 star

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Mon Feb 08 2021
4

I’d actually only heard of The Sonics because LCD Soundsystem referenced them in a song I really liked about 15 years ago (I still do, but I did 15 years ago too). I had some vague idea that they were an 80s, avant-garde, electronic band, so now I feel like a bit of a fool. Absolutely loved this album, or more specifically I absolutely loved the songs that weren’t covers. The covers were still good but I much preferred their original stuff. I spent a lot of my teenage years in the back rooms of various dodgy North London pubs watching Billy Childish gigs without ever thinking to explore the origins of his sound. I wish I’d done a bit more investigation. This album was recorded more than a decade before punk broke, but it still sounds raw and vital over half a century later. Loved it. Five stars for the original stuff and four for the covers.

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Mon Oct 04 2021
5

Just good old fashioned garage rock played with all the all the rawness of a live set in the studio. The Beatles made these songs sound better yes, but I would of rather seen these guys live around the same time.

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Wed Aug 11 2021
2

Sorry boys, The Beatles got there before you, and did it way, way better. Lots of screaming and faux excitement but the music behind it is flat as a pancake. I'm guessing these are Americans trying to emulate the Mersey sound. Whoever they are, it doesn't work. Just sounds like 10 alternate and inferior versions of Twist and Shout.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
5

Almost all the songs sound the same: "Yeeoww!" + blues rock progression + "Yeeoww!" + nearly the same guitar / sax solo. Recorded too hot. Lots of covers. I don't care. This album is amazing. I bought it (actually "The Ultimate Sonics") years ago and still come back to it. Raw, youthful energy. Favorite song: Money

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Sun Oct 03 2021
5

I adoe garage rock, and this is a wondrous slab of it. Exactly what you want of a Saturday night. Simple, unpretentious, clearsighted, slamming rock 'n' roll.

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Thu May 13 2021
4

There are definite flaws with this album. The sound quality is terrible and there are far too many standard covers on the album. However, it's easy to hear how this album influenced the punk bands that came after it. It just has that energy that comes with listening to punk music. The original songs are far better than the covers. It's clear just from listening to this that this band would have been amazing live. I wish a good recording of them existed 4/5

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Tue Dec 21 2021
5

glorious raw primitive garage rock - thrilling!

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Sat Feb 26 2022
5

They are the anti-Beatles right? Get rid everything that "good and pure" or radio friendly about the Fab 4, rough it up, add some fuzz and some guttural vocals and you have The Sonics. Not detracting from either band but I am so glad The Sonics existed to lay the roots of punk and Garage rock. I love them and could listen to this album in repeat for hours (which I did).

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Mon Jan 23 2023
5

These guys go for it, seriously

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Wed Mar 22 2023
5

ONE OF MY FAVORITES OF ALL TIME!!!! Mostly covers. Lots of classic songwriting. The recording is rough and the performances are rock and roll as fuck. So much so that they inadvertently foreshadow the arrival of punk rock about a decade later... Also, the singer is a like a lil' Little Richard.

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Fri Mar 26 2021
4

This makes me want to dance. It rocks. A really fun album. I did think it was older than it is, I estimated about 1958-9. Most of the album is covers, but that was sort of the done thing back in the day. Fun album, it doesn't need to be analysed too much, just smile and enjoy.

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Sat Mar 27 2021
4

After seeing the Dictators on previous page, I was just thinking I hadn't revisited any "proto-punk" records for a few years. I don't remember liking the Dictators, and I didn't remember much at all about the Sonics. Looks like I downloaded this album in 2013, and I probably haven't revisited it. Anyway, HOLY CRAP this is better than I remembered/expected. Under 30 mins, and just a burst of energetic garage rock, containing most of what is good about rock n roll. As someone who isn't generally a huge fan of the mainstream rock canon, this album is fun enough to make me temporarily change my mind. The sound is crisp and competent, but with enough sloppiness & rough edges to make it sound like they're not trying. They cover some early rock "standards". They keep everything simple & it works just fine. My only complaint is that singer keeps trying to do a James Brown "WAAAAAAAH" / "WOOOOOOW". It's fucking annoying and lame whoever does it.

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Wed Mar 16 2022
2

I don't see the big deal about this album. It just sounds like shit.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
5

60s trash rock at its finest and dumbest. Sublime.

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Fri May 28 2021
5

1965 beginning of Punk Rock. Yes!

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Tue Aug 17 2021
5

Enjoyed this alot, did not expect to. Probably the best of this type of music

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Fri Jan 28 2022
5

Don’t let the sweaters fool you, this is loud, obnoxious, and sweaty rock(early punk?). Strychnine, Have Love Will Trave are two of the standouts

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Fri Apr 01 2022
5

Yes yes, a million times yes.

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Wed Apr 20 2022
5

This smashed me over the head in 2022. Imagine what effect it had in 1965. The Witch is amazing, Roslie's vocals are insane, something he carries on for the whole album. But the ultimate sound is that quivery bass. I don't know if it's backed by bass pedal, but it just sounds EVIL! Only 30 minutes. Perfect. It leaves you begging for more. Apparently the Seattle scene was full of bands like The Sonics. If I ever get a ride in the TARDIS I'm going to Seattle in the early '60s. Then I'll stay for 30 years. (I won't be going to Starbucks. That coffee is awful)

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

Early rock and roll containing the kernels of punk and grunge. You love to hear it! Bonus star for being less than 30 minutes long! In and out and over with!

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

Absolutely love this album. The thought of the MFrs doing this in 1965 brings me so much joy and has so much impact on all the music I love that came after it. 🤘

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Tue May 10 2022
5

So, a couple of the covers appeared on early Beatles albums. On here, they are actually better bursts of raw excitement. It's fast and loose and it feels like it could fall apart at any moment which makes it all dead exciting. Add to that a song as fun as Have Love will Travel, and the fact it BLAZES through 12 tracks in less than 30 minutes and you have a real treat on your hands. Loved it.

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Sat May 14 2022
5

Great garage rock, progenitors of punk music. Have a great way of making all the covers their own.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Never heard of them before, but hailing from the 60s, they must be one of the garage rock pioneers. Visceral, exciting, and there hasn't been much change between then and now with obvious echoes of their sound in bands like The Black Keys. Ground Breaking, enduring, influential

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Wed Jun 22 2022
5

amazing, 10/10 super catchy and impressive for its time

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Fri Nov 04 2022
5

Good album from a band I had no idea about

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Mon Jan 16 2023
5

This is a really fun album. It’s definitely pre-punk which makes it an interesting cultural artifact. The lofi sound is perfectly done, and overall I have nothing bad to say.

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Thu Feb 02 2023
5

Such a rip-snorter of an album. I grew up buying into the British music press’s narrative that the 60s were about flower power, ten years of pathetic prog rock happened and then punk came along and tore it all up. When I first heard the Sonics I couldn’t actually believe it was real - this is the punkest band I’ve ever heard, and they’re doing it contemporaneously with Rubber Soul. It just kicks ass from start to finish. It makes me want to join a band, or start a fight, or start a fire, or all three at the same time.

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Thu May 27 2021
4

Some great early punk. Lots of 60s waows and surprisingly great guitar tones. Original tracks are great. Quite boring seeing a lot of the same covers being done on a lot of bands of that era but I suppose that was the done thing. Overall very good

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Fri Nov 26 2021
4

4 for originality. Nice use of distortion to give them an early punk sound. You can definitely hear their embracing of the early 60's songwriting, but very forward-thinking production, and attitude, that would spawn The Stooges and The Hives.

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Sat Dec 04 2021
4

A lot of these songs are covers, but the Sonics were very influential to garage and punk rock.

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Mon Jan 23 2023
4

One of the most fun projects I've heard due to this 1001 albums project - and that's saying something. Searing intensity, manic (but excellent) vocals, and a cover that doesn't hint at *all* at the energy within - this record has it all. whenever WAAAAAAAAA is uttered (which is very often), it makes me want to scream the same myself :')

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Sat Jan 28 2023
4

Raw and rough around the edges, but honestly that's probably the biggest appeal hear. Would it be garage rock if it wasn't raw?

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Tue May 16 2023
4

Like a punch in the face from a bygone era.

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Thu Mar 25 2021
3

There's a real Nuggets feel here. I can hear how this may have influenced later punk and garage rock bands. Cool sound but I’d be more impressed if they had the originals to match. Maybe if they’d stuck around longer they would have produced something really amazing. 2.5/5 Favourite track: Do You Love Me

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Thu Mar 25 2021
3

Noisy punk rock in the 60s? Yes please. A couple of the covers on here are really stellar, well others kind of fall short, but overall it's an important record for more grungey/punk-y production. Fav Tracks: Do You Love Me, Have Love Will Travel

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Mon Dec 27 2021
3

Eh. Kinda basic garage surf rock. Not bad but not all that exciting, either.

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Fri Mar 24 2023
3

waaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAoooooww!

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Sat Mar 27 2021
2

The singer can really scream, the guitarist doesn’t so much play his instrument as he attacks it, and they’ve got a great sound. They had a hit single in the Northwest and rushed out an album of Rock and Roll covers to try and capitalise. And apparently I need to listen to it before I die. Ok. Good covers, lads.

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Mon Sep 21 2020
5

9/10, punky, garage, dark, rollicking, scratchy

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

Awesome innovative band, ahead of their time. Fun fact, The Black Keys were inspired immensely by this band, you can hear it in a lot of their older music

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Thu Jul 08 2021
5

Super Fun with some absolute classics on here. It's short and sweet too. Top 2 tracks for me are Strichnine and Have Love Will Travel = Guy Richie - Rock N Rolla.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
5

Best album so FAR!!!!!! I love this shit!!

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Thu Sep 23 2021
5

More nice shots than I expected, with classics littered throughout. Definite influencers of Black keys, who covered ‘have love will travel’

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Mon Oct 25 2021
5

Absolutely LOVED this. Total classics in there and banging riffs. Its a K Town banger for me

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

That's some good classic rock

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Sat Feb 05 2022
5

At first listen i'm like 'what's this, loads of 60's white boys covering tracks' but oh my - the energy that goes into this. Forerunner of punk / grunge, used in a many a tv advert - very little original material - but The Witch is just disconcerting.

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Wed Feb 16 2022
5

I loved this album. The cover photo betrays the solid rock contained therein. Highly recommend if you enjoy classic rock. Added, with pleasure.

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

Amazing sound for the time period. Can't believe I hadn't heard of them before.

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Mon May 09 2022
5

It's still incredible to think this album was recorded in the middle of the sixties. I've read unconvinced reviewers in this group saying you don't necessarily need to go back to the hidden origins of a genre, but I strongly disagree here. The genre at stake is punk, here, of course--or should I say, rockabilly played in such a intense fashion that it barely sounds like it. And this thing is *wild*, even 57 years later. To me, it seems that Washington State, with its lumberjacks and geographically remote location on the US map, knows a thing or two about authenticity and intensity. It took almost 30 years to make it a landmark place for that sort of music, with Nirvana and the other great bands of that area. But things did start then. And it's just a riot being able to listen to it. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 918 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 44 Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 23 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 19

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Tue Jul 12 2022
5

Love the Sonics. Way ahead of their time and their peers of the time.

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Tue Sep 20 2022
5

It's gutbucket garage rock that has a lot of energy. The originals like Psycho and The Witch are great and the covers were specifically chosen as high energy numbers which would kickstart whatever house party the band was playing at. The rawness makes this more appealing for me - I'd rather listen to the Sonics cover of "Money" than the Beatles cover, which just sounds too clean and less dangerous somehow. Five stars if you think Nuggets is one of the crowning achievements of American rock. Which I do.

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Sat Oct 22 2022
5

Surprisingly good music, rock ‘m’ roll.

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Tue Oct 25 2022
5

This a great album. Full of energy and perfectly represents the garage rock movement. If you want to dance around and enjoy yourselves, just put this on!

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

Much better than Nick Cave banging on about his dead son.

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Fri Nov 11 2022
5

i was expecting a speedy blue hedgehog and his foxy mate singing some catchy J pop but this was marginally better.

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Wed Nov 30 2022
5

Hey everybody! There’s a twist contest in the kitchen and you’re all winners! This was fun and these guys are still playing. Fun!

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Mon Jan 16 2023
5

one of the bigger differences between title and sound i’ve heard. great album

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Mon Jan 23 2023
5

I enjoyed this! Wish this could potentially be remastered, some of those screams are pretty grating but I cannot fault the band for that. It's a short listen, but I still listened through it twice. Just some excellent protopunk, brimming with energy and fun. Unfortunately Have Love Will Travel is sort of ruined for me as it just makes me think of car insurance. Favourite: Good Golly Miss Molly

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Wed Jan 25 2023
5

What an incredible album. I love the garage rock noise and excellent covers. The original tracks are no slouch either. The cathartic vocals are absolutely amazing. 5/5. Favorite Track: Psycho

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Thu Feb 09 2023
5

The birth of punk. Great album.

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Fri Mar 03 2023
5

This music was dropped by Martians in search of the Creature From the Black Lagoon. Ed Wood produced it and Jayne Mansfield was on her way to sing back up when she lost her head. This is just doesn't belong on the planet, 1965 and all that. Who the fuck were these aliens? They swooped up a few Raquel Welch clones, returned to their planet and then came back with two hybrid babies and dropped them into Akron Ohio and said "you will become the Black Keys".

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Tue Mar 14 2023
5

Holy shit this album rocks. It's like the hives covered early rock n roll hits. I feel like seeing these guys at a house party would be insanely good. 'The Witch' is a stand out, 'Have Love Will Travel' seems to be the certified banger.

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Thu Mar 16 2023
5

Early punk music. The album is high energy and makes you want to dance.

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Sun Jun 18 2023
5

How the hell is this 1965? The covers are standards but something about this sound is so raw... Awesome, awesome stuff.

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Sat Aug 19 2023
5

So my last review I said maybe i was getting a little bored after a lot of threes in a row. This one was a five. Great energy in this one.

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Fri Sep 01 2023
5

Really enjoyed this album. Sounded like early punk.

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Sun Oct 01 2023
5

It's like the American Beatles, and every song is a hit

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Wed Oct 11 2023
5

Here Are the Sonics!!!" is the debut studio album by the American garage rock band The Sonics, released in 1965. This album is considered a seminal and influential work in the garage rock and punk rock genres, known for its raw, aggressive sound and rebellious attitude. Here's a detailed review of the album: Raw Energy and Frenetic Pace: "Here Are the Sonics!!!" bursts with raw energy from start to finish. The album is characterized by its fast tempos, gritty guitar riffs, and high-octane performances. The Sonics' frenetic pace and enthusiastic delivery set the tone for the garage rock movement that would follow. Vocal Style: Lead singer Gerry Roslie's distinctive vocal style is a highlight of the album. His snarling, primal delivery adds an extra layer of intensity to the music, making tracks like "Strychnine" and "Psycho" particularly memorable. Song Selection: The album consists of a mix of original compositions and covers. The Sonics' versions of classic songs like "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Have Love, Will Travel" are charged with a rebellious spirit that transforms them into something entirely new. Instrumentation: The band's instrumentation, featuring saxophones, keyboards, and a prominent rhythm section, creates a rich and dynamic sonic landscape. The fuzzy guitar tones, thumping basslines, and aggressive drumming contribute to the album's powerful sound. Lyrics and Themes: Many of the lyrics on the album reflect the rebellious and anti-establishment ethos of the mid-1960s. Songs like "Strychnine" and "The Witch" express a sense of teenage defiance and rebellion, which resonated with the youth of the time. Impact and Influence: "Here Are the Sonics!!!" had a significant impact on the development of punk rock and garage rock. Its raw sound and DIY attitude served as an inspiration for countless bands that followed, including The White Stripes, The Hives, and The Black Keys. Production: The album's production is intentionally lo-fi, capturing the essence of the band's live performances. While this adds to its authenticity, some listeners may find the recording quality to be rough by modern standards. Standout Tracks: While the entire album is a rollercoaster of garage rock energy, standout tracks include "Psycho," "Strychnine," "The Witch," and "Have Love, Will Travel." These songs encapsulate the band's signature sound and attitude. Legacy: "Here Are the Sonics!!!" remains a beloved and enduring classic in the world of garage rock. Its impact on subsequent generations of rock musicians cannot be overstated, and it continues to be celebrated for its uncompromising attitude and sonic power. In summary, "Here Are the Sonics!!!" by The Sonics is a landmark album in the history of rock music. Its unrelenting energy, rebellious spirit, and influence on the punk and garage rock genres make it a must-listen for anyone interested in the roots of rock 'n' roll and the evolution of alternative music. While its production may feel dated to some, its enduring legacy as a seminal work of garage rock remains unchallenged.

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Mon Oct 30 2023
5

Pretty much the standard for garage rock. The hissy recording, the distortion, the drums that sound like they are coming from a closet adjacent to the studio. What really makes this album for me is the vocal energy of Gerry Roslie, who screams into these songs with a degree of commitment that is rarely matched in most rock albums. The aggression of this album is outstanding and presages so many of today's acts.

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Sun Nov 05 2023
5

Classic. First time listening. So good.

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Thu Nov 16 2023
5

The Sonics are one of my most favourite bands, and this is an amazing album full of great proto-punk, garage greatest. Boom is my favourite album but this is a very very close second.

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Wed Nov 22 2023
5

I found a stack of my dad's old 45s in an old bowling ball bag left up in the attic. That is when I heard The Sonics for the first time. The raw power and excitement sticks with me today. Five stars for almost inventing punk a decade before it happened.

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Wed Jan 17 2024
5

An amazing example of an American garage band. Spectacular album.

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Fri Apr 05 2024
5

This album is so ahead of its time it's ridiculous. I have no idea how it sounds like Punk, Beach Rock, and Blues all at the same time. I love the vocals and the horns and everything else about it.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
4

Proto garage rock, a pioneering album

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

Only a few original songs on this album but good covers too

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

Lots of classics here. This album was pretty great!

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Sat Jan 30 2021
4

Nice old school music, really energetic. Good music to wake up to, even if you wake up in the PM.

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