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The Sonics

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Tacoma, Washington, United States (1960 – 1968, 2008 – present)

The Sonics are a garage rock band formed 1960 in Tacoma, Washington, United States, the band’s original members were Gerry Roslie (vocals, piano, organ), Larry Parypa (guitar), Andy Parypa (bass), Rob Lind (saxophone) and Bob Bennett (drums). The band’s loud, powerful sound is often considered to be extremely influential on the later psychedelic and punk genres.

Forming in the wake of the early-’60s success of local favorites The Kingsmen and The Wailers (whose Etiquette label they recorded for), the Sonics combined classic Northwest-area teen band raunch with early English band grit (particularly influenced by The Kinks), relentless rhythmic drive, and unabashed ’50s-style blues shouting for a combination that still makes their brand of rock & roll perhaps the raunchiest ever captured on wax.

Lead singer Gerry Roslie was no less than a white Little Richard, whose harrowing soul-screams were startling even to the Northwest teen audience, who liked their music powerful and driving with little regard to commercial subtleties. With hit after hit on the local charts (and influencing every local band that ever took the stage), the band inexplicably was never able to break out nationally, leaving its sound largely undiluted for mass consumption. Breaking up between 1966 and 1968 (after one ill-fated album attempt to water down their style for national attention), the Sonics continue today to be revered by ’60s collectors the world over for their unique brand of rock & roll raunch.

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