Blasting out from the far-flung wastes of Tacoma, Washington, in the wilds of the US Pacific North West, The Sonics are, in many ways, the epitome of US garage punk. Their unmistakably fullon, gear-crashing sound, frontman Gerry Roslie’s demented howl and their unfussy, permanently-in-thered approach to recording and performance says it all.
This Hip Pocket-series cardboard sleeve facsimile of their 1965 Etiquette debut comes with nothing in the way of extras. There’s just the original sleevenotes, reproductions of the original labels printed on the inner sleeve and those all important 12 shots of gear-crashing supercharged garage punk, brought to you once again in glorious mono. The album’s most intensely revved-up moments include the four original Sonics compositions, namely their 1964 debut single, The Witch, Boss Hoss, Psycho and, of course, that timeless staple of garage band setlists everywhere, Strychnine. The balance of material comes in the shape of typically over-cranked covers of a selection of rock’n’roll standards. Like a flare rapidly burning itself out, The Sonics didn’t hang around, and not one of the 12 tracks on this white-knuckle ride of a debut are in any danger of the breaking the three-minute mark.