Wednesday, May 21, 2008

575. Sonic Youth - EVOL (1986)

Track Listing

1. Tom Violence
2. Shadow of a Doubt
3. Star Power
4. In the Kingdom #19
5. Green Light
6. Death to Our Friends
7. Secret Girls
8. Marilyn Moore
9. Expressway to Yr. Skull


This is definitely a breath of fresh air for 1986 and the start of what will be a fortunate tendency for the following years, well into the 90's for the growth and development of Indie music, culminating and dying with Nirvana.

Of course there have been several Indie albums here before but Sonic Youth, and probably Husker Du before them with the sadly absent from this list Zen Arcade, marks the graduation from Hardcore Punk to a more artsy level of music in the same indie scene, here they are being published under SST one of the most iconic indie labels in music history, which started off with Black Flag.

By the time EVOL came out there was still much growth to be done by Sonic Youth and their best albums are still to come, but as a taste of future things this is a very nice amuse bouche indeed. Particularly in the barren waste of 1986. There is a lot of things going on here, there is Joy Division, Jesus and Mary Chain (and therefore VU), Television, X and Patti Smith in the vocals of Kim Gordon and simply good music, inspired from good sources and never does this sound like lowest common denominator. A keeper.

Track Highlights

1. Star Power
2. Death To Our Friends
3. Secret Girl
4. Expressway to Yr. Skull

Final Grade



From Wikipedia:

EVOL is the third studio album by American noise rock band Sonic Youth, released in 1986 on SST Records. The album cover features a picture of Lung Leg, a still taken from Submit to Me Now, a film by Richard Kern. The album is notable for Steve Shelley replacing Bob Bert and the band showing signs of transition away from their noise-rock past and towards a greater rock sensibility. It was the first album by the band released on the SST label. By 1986, label founder Greg Ginn was anxious for SST to move away from its American hardcore roots, and signing Sonic Youth was an undeniably important step for the label, as well as for the band.

The record marks the second straight for the band in which it had worked with New York singer/performance artist Lydia Lunch. Lunch had shared vocal duties on Bad Moon Rising's "Death Valley '69" and on this record she co-wrote the tune "Marilyn Moore," which may or may not be about the second woman to survive an attack by the Yorkshire Ripper. "Shadow of a Doubt" takes a great part of its lyrical imagery from the Hitchcock film Strangers on a Train: "Met a stranger on a train/you'll kill him and I'll kill her/swear it wasn't meant to be".

On the vinyl format of the album, the time length for "Expressway to Yr. Skull" was indicated by the symbol for infinity; the final moment of the song featured a locked groove, making it theoretically endless. The CD format added a bonus track: the band's raucous but surprisingly faithful take on the Kim Fowley tune "Bubblegum," which Kim Gordon kicks off by shouting "hit it, girls."

Star Power:

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