The 2004 statement by Sonic Youth, Sonic Nurse, is a late gem in the catalogue, mining that rich seam in between lush indie rock melodicism and searing guitar noise like no-one else ever quite could. Sonic Nurse is the second album for which Jim O’Rourke was an official member of the band, and the presence of Jim is always, always a good thing. Universal reissue.
Vinyl Double LP £23.99 4749356
Reissue 2LP on Universal.
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CD £5.99 9862547
CD on Geffen inc enhanced baz.
8/10 Penrith Steve 3rd December 2014
After 1995’s “Washing Machine” I thought that Sonic Youth went through a rather mediocre period and “Sonic Nurse”, released in 2004 marked a return to form, in my mind. Retrospective action made me reconsider 2002’s “Murray Street”, however.
The album’s opener, “Pattern Recognition” is Sonic Youth by numbers, really. Loaded with discordant riffs, Steve Shelley’s signature drumming and squalling walls of feedback, so straight away I though that the band I loved were back. “Unmade Bed” has a cool, pulsing groove and rocks-out convincingly for the last minute or so.
Kim Gordon’s growling “Kim Gordon and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream” has the kind of energy I found lacking in the previous albums. Apparently it was originally titled “Mariah Carey and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream” but legal action was foreseen. “Stones” is the best track on here. Perfectly paced of its seven minutes, the riff is like a more relaxed version of “Teenage Riot” that builds to a rocking crescendo.
In short, Sonic Youth sound reinvigorated on this, their 13th proper studio album.
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