The Sonics are an American garage rock band from Tacoma, Washington, originating in the early 1960s. Among the Sonics' contemporaries were the Kingsmen, the Wailers, the Dynamics, the Regents, and Paul Revere & the Raiders. Their aggressive, hard-edged sound has been a major influence on punk, garage, and hard rock music worldwide, and they have been named as inspirations to Nirvana, Bruce Springsteen, the Fall, and other major artists.
They played a mixture of garage rock standards ("Louie, Louie", "Have Love, Will Travel"), early rock and roll ("Jenny, Jenny", "Skinny Minnie") and original compositions such as "Strychnine", "Psycho", and "The Witch", all based upon simple chord sequences, played hard and fast.
The lyrics of The Sonics' original material dealt with early 1960s teenage culture: cars, guitars, surfing, and girls (in songs like "The Hustler", "Boss Hoss" and "Maintaining My Cool") alongside darker subject matter such as drinking strychnine for kicks, witches, psychopaths, and Satan (in the songs "Strychnine", "The Witch", "Psycho", and "He's Waitin'", respectively).