Sonic Youth – The Eternal (Matador) 8/06/09

June 13, 2009 by  

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29 years since their conception and Sonic Youth are now a band in their 50s, yet they have managed to produce an album that could have been made by a band in their 20s. Having split with major label Geffen, the band have once again signed to an independent, this time Matador. As the title, Eternal, suggests Sonic Youth’s energy and uncompromising approach to song writing has not wavered.

Opener ‘Trickster’ sees them ditch the sonic adventures and return to abrasive punk rock. At only just over 2 minuets in length, it is a welcome return to a more direct and simplistic approach to song writing beefed up by loud guitars and distortion pedals. However, it’s not just an album of coarse guitar music, ‘Anti Orgasm’ flits along the sonic backdrop of a Sci-Fi adventure before culminating in a blistering bang.

This album comes into it’s own when the songs do not try to over complicate themselves, and instead just focus on loud rock music. The blues riff based tracks ‘What We Know’ and ‘Thunderclap’ Illustrate this perfectly, and are incredibly reminiscent of the bands previous albums Goo and Dirty. Yet, the More chaotic songs such as ‘Antenna’ and ‘Malibu Gas station‘, sound like they would be at home on a 1,000 leaves.

As the mammoth 10 minute ‘Massage The History’ brings proceedings to an end, there is a real sense that Sonic Youth are Eternal, but not in away that some would of hoped for. Those wishing for another experimental album from the post-punk legends will be slightly disappointed with this offering. For the rest of us, it’s an album which references many of the highlights of their back catalogue, to produce an album that is incredibly vital and vibrant.

[rating:4]


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