Thursday, 4 August 2011

Boom (3/8)

Who: The Sonics
What: Boom
When: 1966 (1999 Norton Re-release)

They just don’t do it like this anymore. There should be more saxophone solos in modern music, they are too much fun, and we need look no further than the Sonics to show us how it’s done. It’s impossible to not be massively cheered when this raw, raucous goodness hits the stereo. The guitar shrieks with youthful exuberance on Cinderella (a particularly cute take on the tale, his love letter to the titular ‘ella is adorable), and a particularly rousing version of Louie Louie, which is always welcome.

Jennie Jennie is a proper joyous rock ‘n’ roll number which makes one want to don a dress with a puffy skirt and twist all night, and Let The Good Times Roll, as the title suggests, is encouragement to do just that. There’s two versions of The Witch on this album as well, which admittedly, I’ve heard before, as it’s on other albums by the band, but it’s much too fun to skip, the live version positively crackles with energy. There’s also a live version of Psycho, which is bloody good fun as well.

Since I Fell For You is the Sonics’ Earth Angel, a gorgeous doo-wop number, sees singer Gerry Roslie pining for his baby, and it’s positively heart wrenching, that then kicks into Hitch Hike, and he tells us how he’s gonna do anything to get her back, and when he says it, it really feels like he means it.

It’s not all fun and games, though, He’s Waitin’ snarls a warning of the Devil’s arrival, in a manner that Kinks fans will be pretty familiar with, along with The Hustler, which again tells of a slightly unsavoury character in typical, excellent, proto-punk style.

It’s so easy to write about the ones you like! And I loved this, I knew I would, I love the Sonics, to my ears, they are everything a garage rock band should be, and the power and conviction in a lot of these recordings is truly special, but really, without getting too misty eyed over that, Boom is just a great bunch of songs that make it bloody hard to sit still.

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