The band’s first album with Steve Shelley in the drum seat, Evol is when Sonic Youth’s sound really starts to cohere, even if many songs are so volatile that they blow apart or dissolve into abstraction. One of the latter is “Tom Violence,” a noise-rock anthem that demonstrates the band’s shift from no-wave abrasiveness to more varied forms of aural assault and battery. The atonal delirium of “Expressway to Yr Skull” is the most powerful sign of Sonic Youth’s new strength and purpose.

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