The Dead Boys – Sonic Reducer


Attack of the Killer Track! is a series that explores tracks from artists from a variety of genres. Some of the tracks were singles, some of them were obscure b-sides or long forgotten album tracks. One thing is certain – all of them are killer tracks.

The landscape of the punk era from the late 70’s is populated by hundreds – if not thousands – of bands that have gone unheralded by even the hippest of the hipsters. Some of these bands are discovered 30 years later and immediately embraced – some of them stay in obscurity (and will probably stay there). There are quite a number of bands that are on the fringe though – you’ve maybe heard their name or would even recognize a tune or two. The Dead Boys fall into this third class. They formed from the ashes of Rocket from the Tomb (who would later reform) and were championed by Joey Ramone. Following in The Ramones footsteps, the band  gained a reputation for over the top live performances – many of them coming at the legendary CBGB’s. Debut album Young, Loud and Snotty sometimes gets overlooked when discussing great punk records but it deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and The Clash. Single “Sonic Reducer” is one of the greatest singles released, in any genre of music. It opens with a classic rock type intro before a memorable bass line enters the mix. The full band joins the onslaught and lead singer Stiv Bators sings full of true punk angst. The chorus is explosive and will remain lodged in your mind long after the 3 minute song is over. Think it sounds familiar but can’t quite place it? The bass line was sampled and used as the main melody of the Beastie Boys song “Open Letter to New York City”  in 2004 – proving not only the infinite coolness of the Beastie Boys, but the timelessness of this song. Key lyrics:

I’ll be your bearer soon, love on some cotton doom
Things will be different then, the sun will rise from here
Then I’ll be ten feet tall, then you’ll be nothing at all
I got my time machine, got my electronic dream
Sonic reducer, ain’t no loser

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