Sonic Youth are one of those hardworking indie bands that treat rock n roll as a day job, rather than some religious experience, whereby inspiration comes in the form of divine intervention. They are the carpenters, plumbers and labourers of indie rock. The Eternal – their 16th studio album, of blood, sweat, out of tune guitars, wailing vocals, and tears – sees them grafting out another record, of plausible, if not incredible merit.
Like all Sonic Youth albums, the drench of industrial distortion and heavy leaden guitars, complement the shouty if at times harrowing voices of Moore and Gordon’s unlikely duet.
Conventional songs don’t come easy to Sonic Youth, but it’s in the screaming madness of uncompromising guitars, that sound at times like meat grinders smashing up an empty warehouse- and the anti establishment lyrics like: ‘mission control to brain police’ from the song ‘Anti-Orgasm’, that make you realise how important this band are in the canon of underground art rock music.
The Eternal, may not cause too much of a stir to an America in the height of an economic and moral crises – but it does show, a band that awoke a nation of apathetic yuppies from their sleep way back in the Reagan Administration, are still grafting away in their garage.