ARTIST: Sonic Youth
TITLE: Sonic Youth
YEAR RELEASED: 1982
CHART ACTION: Nope
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Nah.
LINEUP: Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Richard Edson
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: A couple of Glenn Branca proteges start a band and record an EP. It’s a bit odd but sounds almost normal – compared to what they would do next.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: You may be a bit surprised at the sound, tuning and style of the first Sonic Youth EP. Except for Ranaldo using a power drill during “The Burning Spear”, nothing sounds too out of tune, or really noisy or odd.
In fact, one would say it’s rather generic sounding. Sure, it’s avant garde – the tunes are twisted up a bit and the chord progressions aren’t normal. But compared to later works – this is Sonic Youth as straight and narrow as they get. Nothing really spectacular either except for “The Burning Spear”.
Glenn Branca, for those unfamiliar, is a composer who builds his works around the guitar, using high volume, harmonics and alternate tunings. He normally has several guitars going at once, and Moore and Ranaldo both played for him.
That influence would come later – it’s not here.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Richard Edson later found fame as an actor. You may recognize him in Good Morning Vietnam and Eight Men Out.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, with live cuts and an demo.
GRADE: C: I’m going to keep this – but really – your Sonic Youth collection should start elsewhere.