In 2000 a temporary agglomeration of Seattle fuzz-rock talent coalesced in the form of the New Strychnines in order to pay homage to one of the city’s most revered godfathers of rock, the Sonics, who had been causing astounded listeners to shake their booties as early as 1960. Seattle’s fascinating musical lineage includes one of the most important early garage rock bands—the Sonics—as well as the world’s greatest rock guitarist while also being, of course, the epicenter of the global grunge movement in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The Sonics were actually from Tacoma but have long since been adopted by far larger Seattle as an important part of the city’s roots.
On Mudhoney’s website it even claims that the New Strychnines “are 75% of Mudhoney,” as it includes Mark Arm on vocals, Steve Turner on bass, and Dan Peters on the drums. The combo also includes Tom Price of Gas Huffer, Bill “Kahuna” Henderson of Girl Trouble, and Scott McCaughey of the Young Fresh Fellows.
The sole album of the New Strychnines was called The New Original Sonic Sound. The material was actually released multiple times in 2000 and 2001 and in some cases the name of the combo was given as The New Original Sonic Sound, which really just seems like someone fucked up somewhere. Either way the album boasts 16 impeccably turned-out Sonics classics turned out by most of Mudhoney and some of their talented friends. Every single track is credited to Gerry Roslie and Larry Parypa, respectively the lead vocalist and lead guitarist of the Sonics.
You can’t see the New Strychnines perform but you can see the Sonics…. I saw them in late 2013 at Brooklyn’s Warsaw and then again in early 2014 at the Beachland Ballroom in Cleveland. For guys who are by now in their seventies (!) they put on a damn fine show. This Is the Sonics, their first studio album in 35 years (!), is coming out at the end of this month (they were talking about it as far back as their Warsaw gig in 2013, so I’m glad it’s finally listeners will be able to get ahold of it).
They’re also touring to support the album:
4/2 - Seattle, WA (Moore Theater)
4/4 - Las Vegas, NV (Viva Las Vegas Weekender)
4/5 - Las Vegas, NV (Viva Las Vegas Weekender)
4/8 - New York, NY (Irving Plaza)
4/9 - Asbury Park, NJ (Stone Pony)
4/10 - Allston, MA (Brighton Music Hall)
4/11 - Providence, RI (Columbus Theater)
4/12 - Philadelphia, PA (Theater of Living Arts)
4/23 - Cincinnati, OH (Woodward Theater)
4/24 - Chicago, IL (Thalia Hall)
4/25 - Detroit, MI (Magic Stick)
4/26 - Toronto, ON (Lee’s Palace)
“Have Love Will Travel”: