Sonic's Rendezvous Band
Sonic’s Rendezvous Band was the supergroup of Midwest rock luminaries Fred “Sonic” Smith of MC5 (guitar and vocals), Scott Asheton from The Stooges (drums), Gary Rasmussen from The Up (bass), and The Rationals’ Scott Morgan (rhythm guitar and vocals). While 66 songs may initially seem excessive, this generous set of live and studio recordings perfectly illustrates that SRB deserved to be much more than a flash in the Detroit pan. A live cover of Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land” from a 1975 Ann Arbor gig opens with hard-chugging riffs, white-hot leads, and a propulsive rhythm section. As expected, it plays like a no-nonsense version of MC5 with the muscled punch of The Stooges. Smith’s own “It's Alright” reveals that even when the group was still finding its footing, SRB exuded more chemistry than most bands. Recorded at Lamphere High School in 1976, “Hard Stompin’” finds the band sounding tighter, while a live 1978 version of “City Slang” spotlights a peerless quartet. The best are saved for last; a studio demo of “Electrophonic Tonic” and a faster, harder “City Slang” show SRB at its apex.