With 1986's EVOL, Sonic Youth established itself as one of the most distinctive and musically challenging bands of the emerging '80s indie rock scene. With new drummer Steve Shelley in tow, the group molded its epic drones to fit more conventional rock-song structures while still including the high-wire tension between its two dueling guitarists, Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, who built walls of sound with innumerous alternately tuned guitars. 1987's Sister mastered this balance between Sonic Youth's experimental buzz and its pop interests with its strongest set of songs to date. "Schizophrenia" modulates over a murky drone to set the tone. "Catholic Block" follows, with a tight, punchy guitar riff that leads to a breathtaking melodic climb and a cathartic scream. "Pacific Coast Highway" mirrors the serpentine route for which it's named. A relatively straightforward cover of Crime's "Hot Wire My Heart" reflects the group's punk roots. "Tuff Gnarl" and "Kotton Krown" heap on the dissonant drones and unusual harmonics with tough rhythms holding the chaos in place.