Sonics still got it

Garage classics wear 'em out at the Irenic

Self-described mod band the Bassics has been hugging the stage since Mrs. Magician’s set flared out. MM continues to enhance River Cuomo’s slack; slamming out catchy tunes about shopping malls and VCRs. But that’s not why some of us are enduring hours of standing-room-only in a space already dripping with sweat. “We cover ‘The Witch!’” exclaims the Bassics drummer, Carl, who’s young enough to say this unconditionally.

Larry Parypa

Larry Parypa

A joyful roar from the throng of 18-to-65-year-olds greets the Sonics’ emergence from a side door. The opener? Can’t name it — I was swept into the blur of honed R&B chords that the Sonics disguised with distorted guitar and the slightly delayed timing of a stripper in the early ’60s. “Have Love, Will Travel” and “Strychnine” are stealth-bombed among the band’s other garage classics and newer tunes — cut from the original mold. Little Richard’s influence still colors Gerry Roslie’s screams, which pierce the dynamic din on “I Hear You Knocking” and “Lucille.” When they don’t, newer Sonic bassist Freddie Dennis’s hair-raising vocals stir more pissed-off, frustrated libido into the brew.

After making my way through a gaggle of autograph seekers I tell guitarist Larry Parypa, “Amazing — you ended up wearing the kids out.”

Exhaustion shadows Parypa’s face for a moment before he smiles, “We’ll see if we can still do this in a few years.”

  • Concert: The Sonics, Mrs. Magician
  • Date: August 16, 2014
  • Venue: The Irenic
  • Seats: Up front

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