10 Songs, 39 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mid-'80s, NYC's Sonic Youth had been slowly expanding from its initial drones and feedback to incorporate more conventional rock-song structures into its alternate tunings and tough rhythmic scrapes. The band was still determined to play things loud and dirty, but the arrival of drummer Steve Shelley gave Sonic Youth an elastic dimension that was immediately clear with its powerful new material. The opener here, "Tom Violence," plods with a heavy metal band's intensity in its ringing discordance, while "Shadow of a Doubt" follows with whispered and spoken intentions that enforce the group's noir cadences. However, it's the album's original finale, "Expressway to Yr. Skull" (also known to fans as "Madonna, Sean and Me")—with its reverberating feedback and death-grip tension—that signaled the band's dynamic control. The addition of the positively poppy bonus cut "Bubblegum" points to the band's further move into modern garage rock, where vocal harmonies and other "pretty" touches like consonant guitar chords spruce up Sonic Youth's once-drab industrial tones without losing the grit or grime of its essence.

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the mid-'80s, NYC's Sonic Youth had been slowly expanding from its initial drones and feedback to incorporate more conventional rock-song structures into its alternate tunings and tough rhythmic scrapes. The band was still determined to play things loud and dirty, but the arrival of drummer Steve Shelley gave Sonic Youth an elastic dimension that was immediately clear with its powerful new material. The opener here, "Tom Violence," plods with a heavy metal band's intensity in its ringing discordance, while "Shadow of a Doubt" follows with whispered and spoken intentions that enforce the group's noir cadences. However, it's the album's original finale, "Expressway to Yr. Skull" (also known to fans as "Madonna, Sean and Me")—with its reverberating feedback and death-grip tension—that signaled the band's dynamic control. The addition of the positively poppy bonus cut "Bubblegum" points to the band's further move into modern garage rock, where vocal harmonies and other "pretty" touches like consonant guitar chords spruce up Sonic Youth's once-drab industrial tones without losing the grit or grime of its essence.

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
26 Ratings

26 Ratings

smac55 ,

Really, no reviews yet?

This is a fantastic album by Sonic Youth and you should certainly listen to it, or at the very least "Madonna, Sean, and Me" a.k.a. "Expressway to Yr. Skull".

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