Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Sonics will kick your arse

Late last century, my former band Hallelujah Picassos recorded a twisted electro thrash punk medley of Psycho and Strychnine, both by the Sonics (we're reissuing that cover very soon), tunes we first encountered in the very early days of the band when we were called the Rattlesnakes, playing garage punk in dingy warehouse venues alongside John Baker and his band the Psychodaisies. Now, the Sonics are coming to town. Oh boy.

"Widely considered to be the loudest, rawest and wildest band of all the sixties exponents of garage rock, The Sonics make a unique appearance at The Kings Arms on Wednesday 18th April.

While the Beatles were singing I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Sonics concocted a savage brutal mix of raw rock and roll with paeans to poisons, psychopaths, and the evilest gals - preached by a vocalist that sounded like he had been gargling broken glass. It was an approach that defined the roots of the North West Sound.

Formed in Tacoma, Washington in 1960, The Sonics were pioneers of a rough and ready R&B which still sounds as raw and vital today as it ever did. The combination of the fevered screams and howls of singer Gerry Roslie, a pounding rhythm section and the harshest, fuzziest guitar sound you ever did hear is one of the most distinctive in rock n roll. Their influence remains as strong as ever – their hits 'Strychnine' and 'The Witch' can still be heard in garages and practise rooms the world over.

The band dissolved in the late sixties but were persuaded to reform with most of the original line-up intact in 2007 for the wildly popular annual 'Cavestomp' garage rock festival. The Sonics have been performing to packed crowds across Europe and America ever since.

Name-checked by everyone from LCD Soundsystem, The Fall, The White Stripes, the grunge scene of the 1990s, Eagles Of Death Metal and our own Mint Chicks, this legendary band's one-off NZ show is not to be missed."

Auckland, The Kings Arms, Wednesday 18th April 2012. Tickets available from

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