Thursday, June 14, 2007

SONIC'S RENDEZVOUS BAND - “SWEET NUTHIN’”

For years the only way to hear the oft-talked-about, under-heard SONIC'S RENDEZVOUS BAND was to buy an expensive original 45 or cheaper bootleg 45 of the one-song single “City Slang” (with a stereo a-side version and a mono b-side version), trade live tapes or bootleg vinyl (extremely hard to come by), or to buy a semi-legit split LP from France with Ron Asheton’s DESTROY ALL MONSTERS 45s on the a-side and various SRB material on the back, including the stereo “City Slang”. Me, I’ve heard most of what this 1975-80 Detroit-based act had to offer up, and for the most part, it’s just-above-standard-issue FM power rock, electrified significantly by the wild guitar playing of axe hero Fred “Sonic” Smith, late of the MC5. I’d position it somewhere between The Stooges and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, except on the longer tracks where Smith gets to go ape, and then it’s “the 5” all the way. You can read a lot more about them here.

In 1990 I was in a band with a fella who saw the band in Detroit many times in their heyday, and we decided to do an instrumental cover of the song “Sweet Nuthin’” from that French LP. It was so easy to play that even I could do it – but the song remains, especially in this instrumental version, to be a singular moment in their catalog: a sprawling, repetitive, understated but nasty rock and roll mauler. The opening guitar riff is just filthy, as they say in baseball. No need for a 6-CD box set – all the magic’s on the “City Slang” 45 and right here!

Play or Download SONIC’S RENDEZVOUS BAND – “Sweet Nuthin’” (from posthumous split LP with Destroy All Monsters)

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well I agree that 6 CDs is a tad excessive but the two original Mack Aborn CDs were well worth nabbing - and the box set also contains the amazing Electrophonic Tonic, which was intended to be on the other side of the City Slang 7" until some inter-band idiocy intervened.

Their other two monsters you neglected to mention are Song L and Asteroid B-612. Check 'em out etc etc

Steve

MRow said...

Oh man - now this really is it. I also played this to death (the LP's got a close-up of Ron's ugly puss on the cover, right?). That long gtr intro is sooo perfect. And when the solo finally cuts in . . . I'm in heaven.

I read somewhere that, like THE PINK FAIRIES "Raceway", it was never intended to be an all-instrumental track; the boys just never got round to laying the vocals. If that's true, it's the best mistake they ever made.

Anonymous said...

Well there are 3 (count 'em) versions w/vocals on the box set so don't be shy now...

Steve

finn said...

There is also a youtube clip on their web site of Alvin Youngblood Hart and Gary Rasmussen doing Electrophonic Tonic. And it smokes.

Anonymous said...

Jesus, that is a great track - you could play it 20 times in a row and it still wouldn't be enough.

Anonymous said...

http://www.myspace.com/fredsonicsmith