The Raunch were a garage band from Ossining, N.Y., one of countless mid-Sixties groups benefiting from a healthy local scene at that time.
While still at High School, lead guitarist Jay Manning formed The Synners with a couple of pals. They played a few local / school shows before they graduated in 1965.
The Synners morphed into The Invaders and auditioned for a vocalist. Enter Sandy Katz. A writing partnership between Jay and Sandy soon developed as the band built upon their repertoire of Ventures and other instrumental covers.
As the remaining original band members moved away, bass player Frank Taxiera was enlisted. In fact, ‘… he couldn’t play and didn’t have equipment, he was jst coo and he fit,‘ Jay was quoted as saying.
Tom Walker completed the final line-up on drums.
It was while rehearsing as The Invaders a girlfriend of Jay mentioned the band sounded ‘raunchy’ and so the name was changed to The Raunch.
Throughout 1966 the band played many gigs throughout New York state and won several Battle of the Bands competitions. Their musical style evolved, as did their equipment and wardrobe.
Sandy’s dad, Marty, a successful businessman, backed the band, paying for everything and even creating a record label, Bazaar Records, for the purpose of releasing their music.
All the band’s recordings were made at Ren-Vell studios, and in most cases were done in one single take which gives the sound a real authenticity.
Both sides of their sole single on Bazaar Records are classic examples of ’60s garagepunk: ‘A Little While Back‘ is a crude heavy fuzz punker with a blistering guitar solo.
It’s backed with, ‘I Say You’re Wrong,’ a tough and moody song with classic garage girl-treats-boy-bad lyrics.
While both songs of this, their only release, were self-penned, the band were also invited to contribute a track to the highly collectable * ‘Battle of the Bands‘ compilation on the regionally active Ren-Vell label. For this, they recorded a cover of of the Paul Revere & The Raiders song, ‘Hungry.’
(* This compilation recently – April 2021 – sold on Discogs for £162.)
The band recorded two other tracks at the Ren-Vell studio that remained unreleased until 2015, when the rather unique covers of ‘Hey Joe‘ and ‘Tobacco Road‘ supplemented those previously mentioned on the excellent, five track, ‘Total Raunch‘ EP, on Break-a-Way Records.
The Raunch played throughout 1966 into 1967 and in the end, Jay and Frank joined the military. while Sandy an Tom finished High School.
And then they were gone …
Sandy Katz – Rhythm Guitar / Vocals
Jay Manning – Lead Guitar
Frank Taxiera – Bass
Tommy Walker – Drums
RELEASES BY THE RAUNCH
|A Little While Back / I Say You’re Wrong||7″ single||Bazaar||1966|
|Total Raunch||12″ – single sided EP||Break-a-Way Records||2015|