Review Revue: Various Artists – Here Ain’t the Sonics!


Ahhhh, the tribute LP. A mainstay of the pop music world, tribute compilations pretty much always seem like a better idea in theory than they end up being in practice. Sure, there’s usually a few tunes on there that you’re excited to hear — a band you already loved interpreting the work of another band you dig — and maybe you put those songs on mixes for friends for a while, but how often do you grab that record, throw it on, and listen to it all the way through? Pretty much never, I know. (And this is coming from someone who has appeared on a couple of tribute comps you’ve probably never heard.)

But in 1989, two of the Northwest’s premier indie labels, Estrus and Popllama, decided to throw caution to the wind and assemble as many bands as they could from the Northwest and around the world to pay tribute to a band that many still consider one of the finest rock outfits to come out of our fair region: The Sonics. (To this day, hardly a week goes by without some KEXP DJ or other spinning a Sonics tune.) The results, judging by KCMU DJ response, seem to have been perhaps more satisfying than the average tribute comp. (Or as lame as every other tribute comp out there, depending on whom you listen to.)

“One of the best tribute LPs I’ve heard in a year glutted w/the things. My faves are by Girl Trouble, The Screaming Trees, Thee Headcoats, & Pippi Eats Cherries (who?). My least favorite is by Mojo Nixon, but then I’m not much of a fan. Cool stuff!”

“Mono Men are God.”

“EVERYBODY on this album is God. This is a great compilation — play Anything!”


“Gosh, it sounds like the Sonics to me… let’s play the original instead.”

“Yeah, I kinda agree.”

“But that’s the problem w/all tribute albums.”

“‘Strychnine’ is great. Surf Trio broke up though. Pity.”

“Heard enough.


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  1. Henrik
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    The Mono Men who ran Estrus Records were a great band. One of a handful who left a legacy in Bellingham. Others would have to include The Posies, Death Cab For Cutie, Crayon (pre-Tullycraft), Police Teeth and The Trucks but Mono Men kept it real for almost two decades.

  2. Damon Creed
    Posted April 27, 2010 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    YES to “let’s play the original instead” but his album remains a ripper in its own right. Just goes to show that if you have quality material to begin with, its tough to go wrong.

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