The Most Influential Songs From The Sonics
The Sonics live at Easy Street - KEXP / Youtube
The simple but direct impact of garage rock was led by a few good bands in the 60’s, with The Sonics being one of them. Their no-nonsense, gritty and menacing tone became one of the biggest influences on punk, hard rock, and garage rock all over the world. With albums containing their tried and tested formulas – simple chord progressions arranged in high-tempo settings – The Sonics established a sound that was unique for their time. With that, here are The Sonics’ most influential tracks in a list.
“Have Love, Will Travel” – Here Are The Sonics (1965)
Borrowing from Richard Berry’s original, The Sonics stained the track with a more visceral rendition, mainly contributed by a fuzz-filled guitar progression, a rolling drum pattern, banshee vocals, and a unique sax breakdown that effectively worked with the whole ensemble. The group also changed the main chords to an all-major progression, which became the most widely used version thereafter.
“Dirty Robbers” – Here Are The Sonics (1965)
From another original by the Wailers, “Dirty Robbers” by The Sonics featured a wilder version that was on the verge of excess, yet barely touched the line. The screaming vocals, trilling piano progression, and tasteful sax solos make the track an energy-filled tempest that appealed to the masses in more ways than one.
“Psycho” – Here Are The Sonics (1965)
Featuring an infectious circular brass riff throughout the track, “Psycho” was as wild as the Sonics could get. With the signature drum breakdowns after the verses and the “Aww!” driving the energy along its length, this brand of rock was a breakthrough for its time.
“Strychnine” – Here Are The Sonics (1965)
The powerful brass verse progression tops it off with a piano riff underneath, making for a multidimensional arrangement that was both dynamic and rich. Blues guitar accents underscore some parts of the track, and the loose vocals all contribute to the heavy and energetic progression the song has.
“The Witch” – Here Are The Sonics (1965)
A fast-paced and brooding guitar progression drives the track with its consistent feel, with a rolling drum pattern that was pretty powerful, especially when the breakdown hits. The vocals are as powerful as ever, matching the roiling guitar licks with accented screams.