Sunday, February 1, 2009
Sonic Youth - confusion is sex (1983)
Sonic Youth signaled the transition from the no-wave to the noise-rock, underlined by the epic, menacing, irregular structure of "She's In A Bad Mood". Yet it was still rock: psychedelic, progressive and industrial. Sonic Youth never meant to destroy rock 'n' roll like the original no-wavers, but rather apply the new culture into it.
The nightmares of Lydia Lunch (think "The Agony Is The Ecstasy") were a reference-point in the ritual of doom "Protect Me You". They also resorted to horror theatrics in the semi Stooges cover "Freezer Burn/ I Wanna Be Your Dog" (first suspenseful tension, then all hell breaks loose), that also featured a nice display of Glenn Branca-inspired guitars.
"Shaking Hell" was essentially one long theatrical sketch, a music-hall from an industrial hell. Instead, an indicator for the future was the supersonic noise anthem "Inhuman", while "Confusion Is Next" was a different kind of punk, the most claustrophobic and progressive post-hardcore yet. Finally, "Lee Is Free" flirted with the subliminal and the possessed religious primitivism, echoing Circle X's similar experiment from the same year, but in a less ambitious way. Get it here.