Mixed MenageriesUnique, surreal, TRUTH, and every bit of fucking stellar. I feel like the world doesn't have this kind of music anywhere
I love this band so hard. Unique, surreal, TRUTH, and every bit of fucking stellar. I feel like the world doesn't have this kind of music anywhere and I never thought I'd ever hear anything like it. Well... in Seattle there's plenty of Jonny Sonic. One of a kind. If this music doesn't make your ass bounce and make your face weird, I don't know what you're wasting your time listening too. They provide such a jazzy, upbeat, soulful, eclectic, sunshine meets a supernova, array of sounds. His lyrics are thought out and provoking to the mind. Jonny (Rick Kowal) dominates such an amazing stage presence one can't help but to get weird with him.
The rest of the bandmates, as a team, flow and work with such a familial dynamic it's heartwarming to see the chemistry unfold on stage. While I'll always suggest buying their music, I'm going to strongly suggest you see them live. Especially for people who just listen to radio drivel. Get up off your ass and go see people who actually hone their crafts and play a plethora of instruments ranging from tubas, saxophones, trumpets, drums, and whatever in the hell I'm leaving out. They never fail to keep me entertained and it's just like fucking Christmas.
I fucking love you guys.Lady Deviant Mixed Menageries
Seattle Sound MagazineWith so many ingredients, these addicting hooks and frighteningly heavy beats prove Jonny Sonic to be the best dope pusher in town.
Meet the horn-blowing, beat-dropping, baby-sampling, off-the-wall funk of Jonny Sonic. Taking an old family recipe, Sonic (née Rick Kowal) drops everything but the kitchen sink into the unrelenting intensity of this debut LP. The tunes on tap take a dip into the sonic world of Mike Patton: one listen may satisfy you for the day, week, or even month, but eventually, you'll be asking yourself what you did with that Jonny Sonic disc, because you need another fix.
The aptly titled "Cue" opens the record, dialing in the blazing horns of the Players Club (locals Kevin Seeley, Cliff Colon, Greg Koehler) and never slowing as they seamlessly traverse into "Pesos y Euros." Hip-hop, jazz, rock and funk intermingle on "In Line," an unabashed mix of video game-like riffs, thick beats and rhythmically sporadic drumming. Jonny Sonic leaves nothing out of Coop Resident, except maybe a Tylenol. Hell, Kowal even covers the Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime." With so many ingredients, these addicting hooks and frighteningly heavy beats prove Jonny Sonic to be the best dope pusher in town.Benn Guerecht Seattle Sound Magazine
Ghetto Blaster MagazineA gritty, sprawling work with all the frantic flow of the city and sexy ass bravado to spare.
Jonny Sonic (aka Rick Kowal) has stepped from behind the beats of the dense, experimental utterly unclassifiable, FULL, in order to flex his formidable funk credentials. It's not that he hasn't already proven himself with his Seattle band mates; listening to FULL records you immediately notice his fitful skeletons, the nervous rhythm undertow that moves their dense compositions forward. On Coop Resident, Kowal switches gears, dropping an album that pure party through and through. This shit will make you moist "down there".
Jonny [sic] sings with a dirty tease of a velvet tongue, at times bringing the orgasmic mouth play of Prince and others coming in with a pimped Larry Blackmon growl. Holy fuck, those horns, those horns! On "Pesos Y Euros", Sonic [sic] does a seizured talksing over a horn section that's as slick as oiled, shaved biceps. These funk nods, equal parts Madness and Parliament, show an artist unafraid to tackle the sacrosanct and own it. Coop Resident straddles these two halves, an electronic artist that understands that it took Curtis Mayfield to make Kraftwerk. Jonny Sonic [sic] is an itchy composer; he won't let you settle in before long, before he's whisked away the song's bottom, with the dishes still on the table. "Dumb Day" displays his skills with electronic splices; it begins with a Peter Murphy low-rolled mantra, reclining against beats that scurry critical mass fast.
What's amazing about Jonny's [sic] breadth as a performer is the lines he draws from old school orchestral funk to the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Aphex Twin. This is the album that Terrence Howard should have been working on in Hustle & Flow: A gritty, sprawling work with all the frantic flow of the city and sexy ass bravado to spare.Terry Sawyer GhettoBlaster Magazine
Impose MagazineSomewhere on this earth, David Byrne's hearing it for the first time and saying to himself, "My God -- what have I done?"
Jonny Sonic is the latest project from Rick Kowal a.k.a. Switch, mad studio scientist and bassist for the band Full (perhaps the finest avant-pop chamber ensemble that the world is still catching up to). Coop Resident bursts at the seams with personality: traces of P-Funk during their rock-centered moments or Soul Coughing at their funkiest rise to the surface. Surprises are around every corner; during the head-banging "Bourbon Sass," when the fuzz guitars are at their loudest, Rick takes a moment to get in touch with his inner Squarepusher. Weirdbeat chaos ensues soon afterwards. "Dumb Day" is a paranoid breakbeat workout that would make Jack Dangers proud, shifting gears midway through for a surreal hip-hop finish. "Medicine" could damn near make a techno head out of anyone, and the Talking Heads cover is easily the most hyperkinetic version of "Once In A Lifetime" known to man. It's as if an army of guitars and sequencers did battle with a mariachi band. Somewhere on this earth, David Byrne's hearing it for the first time and saying to himself, "My God -- what have I done?" Coop Resident gets props for being eclectic without being unfocused - that's a rarity these days.Jason Smith Impose Magazine
Seattle Music NewsIt's not your average anything, as eclectic sounds cut a rough knife through predictability.
Seattle funk band Jonny Sonic took the stage for a menagerie of heavy beats and frantic rhymes, the nine-piece band swelling to twelve with added players from other bands on the night's lineup. JS is somewhere between NOLA marching band and hip hop, driving a force through the ears with prominent horns and deep drum and bass. It's not your average anything, as eclectic sounds cut a rough knife through predictability.Stephanie Dore Seattle Music News
IndieWorkshopContains as much invention as most commercial hip-hop's entire output in any one track.
Seattle's Jonny Sonic, otherwise known as Rick Kowal, is a man with his fingers in a great many different musical pies. He is the producer for HandPicked Entertainment's ventures, he is a renowned re-mixer and has composed several advertisement jingles. And now this: Coop Resident.
It's certainly bold. Punishing funk and hip-hop combine with stripped electronic beats to very effective ends, earmarking Jonny Sonic as not only a skilled orchestrator, but an impassioned performer. It is unbelievably tight, with every musician cramming down on their instrument and getting to the meat of the arrangements with ease. The music itself crashes along with the verve of a maniacal OutKast project with added electronica, effectively and elaborately ticking every dancing box. This is exciting to listen to. Not only that, but it is a good experience. The listener isn't beaten up with the message, only swayed into the Sonic state of mind. A definite atmosphere is conjured up, one where rhythm is paramount and getting an eighteen-month-old child to sing on your album is just dandy.
And, pleasingly, Coop Resident contains as much invention as most commercial hip-hop's entire output in any one track. Medicine conjures up a spy movie atmosphere with, oddly, basketball shoe-squeaks ('The Rodman Mysteries', anyone?). The choruses are so violent that one cannot resist doing that stupid motion where your lips purse and your head bobs ridiculously - 'NO MORE!' you'll scream along on Sore. The whole thing is a damn good time, worthy of inclusion in any huge pimp's playlist, but has the intelligence to be more than that. Jonny Sonic is a potential mastermind and, if his music shapes up to be as good as this first offering, good things are sure to follow.
Reputedly a revelation in the live arena, it is plain to see that the energy in the songs translates directly to the performance sphere. No doubt he is as good in the flesh as the critics have been saying, let's just hope the tried and tested meanders of the hip-hop community that are into useless showboating don't overtake the clear invention at work here.Daniel Ross IndieWorkshop
90.3FM KEXP, SeattleGot a weird future funk thing going on.
Got a weird future funk thing going on. And I mean weird in a good way -- I mean P-Funk had a grown man in a diaper for christ's sake.Chilly 90.3FM KEXP, Seattle
Pesos y Euros is a great summertime song.Abe Beeson
Playback Magazine"Pesos y Euros" could easily be a theme song of the new millennium.
The press kit labels it "the groundbreaking sound of the new eclecticism." No doubt an ambitious moniker, but Mr. Sonic (neé Rick Kowal) does his damnedest to live up to the hype. To find his mojo, he implements a steady stream of horn-driven funk riffs, a dash of hip-hop, and a vocal lineup that never sits still. The musical homage paid to the Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" is priceless, while "Pesos y Euros" could easily be a theme song of the new millennium. Call it jazz for people who don't like jazz, perched a funkdafied nook somewhere between Herbie Hancock and the Roots. If you like one song on this album, you'll like them all. A near flawless effort.Brian Jarvis Playback Magazine
Anthem Magazinemakes for an interesting alternative to Clear Channel-choked radio.
Jonny Sonic mastermind Rick Kowal is all over the map, business-wise. Apart from duties in the band FULL, he composes/performs/produces commercial spots for brands as varied as BMW, Toys 'R' Us and Starbucks. Tracks of his have showed up on the Discovery Channel, the Fashion Channel and even The Real World. Unsuprisingly, Coop Resident is a jumble of seemingly disparate influences. Traces of electro, hip-hop, agro-rock and jazz pop up all over the album. That Kowal can meld them into an appealing backdrop is a testament to his ear for composition. Prominent horns drive the sweaty funk of "Pesos y Euros" while heavy drum n' bass underlie the glitches and droned vocals of "Medicine." The production pedigree doesn't carry over to the lyrical content, with the majority of tracks sporting rudimentary rhymes that rip listeners out of a toe-tapping trance. But overlooking the lyrics and the ill-advised Talking Heads cover ("Once in a Lifetime"), Coop Resident makes for an interesting alternative to Clear Channel-choked radio.Aaron Autrand Anthem Magazine
Both Sides of the SurfaceGuard your grills, kids... Jonny Sonic aims straight for the head... and never misses.
It's Funkadelic during their times of rocking out crossed with a hybrid of Soul Coughing and Chili Peppers at their funkiest. And while the guitars are on a hazy shade of fuzz and the punchy horn section blares, look towards the center at our fearless hero, Rick Kowal...who picked a fine time to get in touch with his inner Tom Jenkinson. The world is a better place for it.
Guard your grills, kids... Jonny Sonic aims straight for the head... and never misses.Macedonia Both Sides of the Surface
Plug-in Music MagazineMemorable moments that will surely set you dancing -- be it in a club, your car, or in your bedroom -- Jonny Sonic takes some interesting chances
Blending The Gorillaz with The Prodigy and adding a touch of Outkast, three of today's most notable bands, Jonny Sonic's "Coop Resident" is unpredictable throughout. Assuming the Jonny Sonic pseudonym, Seattle musician Rick Kowal is the man in control. Fusing quick drum and bass and trip hop excerpts with rich horn sections, "Coop Resident" is not your typical run of the mill version of everyday hip hop.
With a group sing along and horns flaring, tracks like "Cue," "Sore" and "Steaks" are big and dramatic, hinting at jazz, big band and funk tones as the variety of sounds come together. Jonny Sonic comes across strongly with hard hitting tracks like "Bourbon Sass" and the infectious chanting and thumping melody of "Pesos y Euros," hip hop bleeds into speeding electronic rhythms as rough vocals cut through with their rhymes. Kowal delivers solemnly in the role of a law enforcement officer on the dark chiming rhythm of "Identification Card (Vienna)." Like night and day, Kowal opts for a much lighter sound on "Dumb Day," "Coop Resident" and the Talking Head's "Once in a Lifetime (sic)," choosing to let the digital effects take control of the music and its flow.
With some memorable moments that will surely set you dancing -- be it in a club, your car, or in your bedroom -- Jonny Sonic takes some interesting chances with "Coop Resident." While his experimentation and lack of predictability should be applauded, "Coop Resident" is clunky at times and unprepared at others. Jonny Sonic's "Coop Resident" is a shaky attempt but keeps you interested and gives you a taste of what is to come.Corinne Plug-in Music Magazine
Impact PressIt's like a coked-up version of the misunderstanding parts of your life trapped inside one of those carnival rides that causes you to loose focus of where you are at the moment.
He is what his names implies, a sonic trip with big band sounds and a funky vibe that incorporates a Frank Zappa quality. Only here Jonny rummages through hip-hop, rock and pop, and ends up this side of anywhere, except for where we are right now. Over-exuberant moments are used as calculated efforts at accentuating the barrage of horns, beats and stray sounds coming at you from all angles. It's like a coked-up version of the misunderstanding parts of your life trapped inside one of those carnival rides that causes you to loose focus of where you are at the moment.J.C. Carnahan Impact Press