Home Read Albums Of The Week: Sonny Vincent | Primitive 1969​-​1976

Albums Of The Week: Sonny Vincent | Primitive 1969​-​1976

The OG N.Y.C. proto-rocker rejigs his 2020 retrospective with a few more killer tracks. if you still haven't heard them, what the hell have you been waiting for?

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “American guitarist and vocalist Sonny Vincent, known as the founder of New York punk heroes Testors and bandmate of Bobby Liebling in the doom metal band The Limit, has unveiled a new version of Primitive 1969-1976, featuring classic recordings from his bands Distance (1969-71), Fury (1972), and Liquid Diamonds (1973-75), as well as one of the earliest Testors demos.

The New York City rocker was truly ahead of his time, and the world is finally catching up. These are incredible snapshots from the N.Y.C. music scene in the pre-’77 punk era. These tracks all show the foundation on which Vincent’s appeal was built: Ripping guitar riffs, raw energy, and soulful, authentic vocals from the gutter. Roaring between heavy-handed biker rock and thug rock supreme, dripping with chain grease and burnt skin, this is a ball-crushing, tit-ripping rock ’n’ roll gem for the ages. And a must for fans of proto-metal, proto-doom and bands like Bang, Poobah, Buffalo, JPT Scare Band and other obscure metal rarities.

Vincent’s signature style is immediate. Even at this early age, the seething vocals are incredible. Much of this archival material was uncategorizable in the early/mid-’70s, when so many “underground rock” styles were interweaving. Vincent formed band after band, each reaching its own level of raw madness. The fact that he’s been able to hold onto the master tapes of these sorely unexposed examples of music history in luggage trunks that he’s moved back and forth across the Atlantic several times since the ’70s is amazing.

Vincent’s recall of these early years is packed with events and stories — from hanging out as a teenager with David Peel and Ed Sanders of The Fugs to the turbulent days with the original Distance bass player Anthony (who killed the guitarist in his next band and is serving life in prison) to almost ditching the draft during the draft to join The Manson Family (the girls had invited him to join their “cool commune”) to touing with Mo Tucker and sharing a hotel room with Sterling Morrison of The Velvet Underground.

This guy still needs to be discovered by most heavy music fans, and this release should fill the gaps and solidify his place in time. Welcome to this cache of heavy hard rock stunners and proto-heavy/proto-punk freakouts. These are sickening grooves with thunder-soaked sonic savagery. Don’t even try to relax. Crank this up and feel the shell shock take hold!”


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