Tag Archives: Sonic Thrills

Love Me Some Love Me Nots

What's not to love?

What's not to love?

They’re coming to my town, gonna party it down.

Their first two albums were short, sharp and killer; the second (Detroit) made my Top Ten in 2008. Now they have a brand new one, Upsidedown Insideout, and it is yet another ass-kicker. More on that very soon, as I’ll be reviewing both the live show and the album. Bug Jar, here I come!

Until then, check this out, and this, and this! Then listen to some new tracks here. (You might also want to check out these guys too – Michael Johnny Walker doesn’t like to sit still.)

 Of course, anyone watching The Love Me Nots won’t sit still either. Matter of fact, with a stunning duo like Nicole Laurenne and Kyle Rose Stokes up front, my blood pressure will need to be watched closely. New drummer Bob Hoag has his work cut out for him, but I’m sure he didn’t make the cut by being anything less than awesome.

Did I mention that I’m excited that I’m going to finally get to see them live tonight? (I thought so.)

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Under The Radar: The Sonic Thrills

Hit me!

Hit me!

The Sonic Thrills: Get Up!

I don’t know how I missed this one last year, especially now that I realize the lead guitarist and drummer are also in The Love Me Nots (whose two releases made my best-of lists the past two years). So I guess they flew under my radar as well as yours…this would have made my best-of list had I heard it on time.

As the name suggests, The Sonic Thrills are a high-energy, fuel-injected rock’n’roll band. While I’d tag them much closer to garage rock than punk, they play with a fury that is far closer to the 77 sound. Michael Johnny Walker chainsaws some rhythm guitar alongside David Kains, but when it’s time to rip off a kinetic solo it’s flashy but compact. Drummer Jay Lien and bassist Chris Waldron absolutely pound the beat home on every cut; I would highly recommend having a defibrillator nearby if you try to perform any physical activity while this is playing.

Lead vocalist James Monarch is well-suited to the mile-a-minute pace. While not a howler, he’s forceful enough to sell songs about bad luck, bitchy women and…uhhh…closing the deal. On most songs he reminds me of Dave Gilbert, the late lead singer of The Rockets, who along with Dr. Feelgood were the first bands I thought of  when I first heard this album. Both bands have solid r&b roots, a fierce sound propelled by a relentless drummer and a guitar player who is as good a rhythm player as a soloist. “I Don’t Wanna Die” might be the only song where Monarch sings like a punker, but it certainly suits the song. Hell, I don’t wanna die either! Even “Sinatra’s Ghost”, where the singer meets the spirit of Ol’ Blue Eyes in a dark smoky club, sounds like an unreleased track from The Dictators.

“Feel it shake and rumble up from the ground”, Monarch growls in “Soul”, and that’s as apt a description of the Sonic Thrills sound as anything else. This mofo starts in fifth gear and doesn’t let up until a cymbal crash thirteen songs later. Bring this stuff to the East Coast, willya?

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