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.

6 comments:

ido said...

This is one of my favorite albums. Of all time. It completely rocked my little world when I first heard it. And it still does. Beyond intense. Introverted and externally destructive at once. Early SONIC-YOUTH is really like no other band before or since.

Love your blog, lots of great stuff. I'm still working on mine when I have time.

Jim Slip said...

Thanks Ido. Excellent blog you got there as well. I added it on the links. -)

armeur H said...

Perhaps my SY's favorite. I put their last 2xEP released on my blog. Take a look !

Novemberer said...

Still my favourite S.Y. LP! IBx

Jim Slip said...

@armeur H, nice stuff

@Novemberer, I added your blog to the links, nice job.

Novemberer said...

Belated thanks, Jim! There's some absolutely terrific stuff on here btw...