Sonny Vincent, perhaps the ultimate Punk Rock’n’Roll survivor. He may not be a household name or even show up on your atypical ‘punk’ Spotify algorithm playlist, but he has led a life and acquired a CV that cannot be overlooked or dismissed. Having worked with an array of different musicians deep inside the pop culture subconscious from the Stooges to the Damned, from the Velvets to the Replacements, and seemingly everyone in between.
With all this and his countless solo offerings, you would be knee-deep for months trying to do an inventory of his Discogs page in order to ascertain what number we are at with the current release ‘Snake Pit Therapy’. Kicking off with a couple of solid alt-rock and garage punk-tinged tracks, it’s the third song on this record, ‘The End Of The Light’, that really picks you up and starts brawling off of the speakers. Bob Mould esque in all the right places (this guy really truly knows how to get the right guitar sound). Minneapolis certainly rubbed off on this guy. And the same can be said straight after on ‘The Rain Is Black Again’, less of a brawler and more of a fun, upbeat anthem drenched in Californian or Frisco sunshine. Catchy as hell.
It’s hard not to admire Sonny’s honest, weather-worn lyrics. Songs like ‘Never Tired’ hitting you full throttle, revealing to the listener what it’s like walking in his shoes on a seemingly endless journey, yet showing us almost endless optimism in the next breath. Listening to the lines in ‘Another Land’; not looking back because of the hurt but still dusting yourself off and moving forward. ‘Ruby Diamond’ is a freight train hitting a borrowed riff of ‘Train Kept A Rolling’ but amped up and spat out.  Sonny may never be nominated to be poet laureate but what he says is beautiful yet rough around every last edge, like a rock’n’roll Mickey Rourke.
A great attribute for this record is that it’s a good starting point for those, like me, who are uninitiated with the majority of Sonny’s work. The record itself is an all-rounder for showing off his wears but builds a fire inside and a desire to seek out the rest. We all know too often how intimidating it can be to break into an artist’s substantial body of work. You needn’t worry in this case, ‘Snake Pit Therapy’ will slip into your record collection, as comfy as an old pair of Converse offering the listener the best jumping-off point to deep dive further.
Sonny is the legend in your lifetime with a heart as big as a bass drum pounding out tunes with relentless quality and craft, grab it now rather than reading up on it 30+ years from now full of envy for the past.
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Author: Dan Kasm