The Sonics - Here Are The Sonics!!! (1965), 6/10

Gerry Roslie’s vocals take raw, noisy, rebellious energy further than ever before. The heavy sound of the record is bolstered by distortion and unstoppable energy. Original compositions include some of the best songs on the record “The Witch”, “Psycho”, “Boss Hoss”, and “Strychnine”, the rest are rock and roll covers similar to contemporaries yet decorated with a unique sense of raw energy foreshadowing punk music. While some songs are stronger than others, including covers, the execution is relatively uniform in a positive sense. The band brings a consistent vitality to each track and never lets off the gas. The record is remarkable for its unhinged feeling despite its foundational ties to rock and roll and the British Invasion scene. The pair of rhythmic tension with Lind’s saxophone on a track like “Have Love Will Travel” for example, brings an entirely new approach to music that was being exhausted by repetition at the time. The Sonics accomplished something entirely necessary and refreshing during the mid-sixties by completely shaking up the approach to sound when everything else sounded just about the same, all furthered by a live recording that sounds genuine and intentional. The band’s charismatic, charming youthful playfulness simply adds a decorative flair to an already entertaining album experience. It is unsurprising that the record did not break nationally, as audiences were likely unready for such a change of pace and ethos, but years later it is clear that changes like these ushered in much better music and novel concepts in recording.