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Severian 10.02.2017 09:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by evollove
Taking out Hot Wire, Master Dik and Bubblegum vastly improves each album, in my opinion. Master and Bubble weren't on the originals anyway, right?

So, going by the original sequence...

Hot Wire still sucks. And Sister should end with Kotton, not White Kross, which belongs earlier in the sequence.

Evol coheres more as an album, as a flow of thought. It is objectively better.

But fuck it. I'm not a critic and prefer Sister, which is and probably always will be my #1 fav.


Yeah, I’m not nuts about the tracks you mentioned either. Well, I do like “Hot Wire...” but it was unnecessary. Should have been a B-side, along with “White Kross.”

But I had an insane, terrible acid trip to Sister once (to SISTER... can you imagine? Being in a bad place already, and on LSD, and then letting the weight of “Schizophrenia” sink into your fucking brain cells?) and not even that could ruin it for me.

Evol is super goddam good though. Shit man. But I’m weird because I think Bad Moon Rising is goddamn near perfect. No, it IS perfect. Evol no. Sister no. Daydream, yeah. Sister’s still my favorite, warts and all.

noisereductions 10.02.2017 09:59 PM

Evol is Def better than Bad Moon. Don't get me wrong, both 5 star albums. But Evol has such a tone to it. A warm drone. And the SS Beat Control. I just think the highs are (slightly) higher, and more sustained as a whole.

dirty bunny 10.03.2017 02:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
Sonic Youth
Evol
1986, I've long called Evol my favorite album. I mean my favorite album of all time. My one desert island disc if you will. There's something about it - everything really. That cover art. The liner notes. Even the title. Evol is violently beautiful, right from the opening of "Tom Violence." It is immediately clear - or at least within seconds - that this new lineup with Steve Shelley on drums has gelled into something perfect. The material here is just as intense and visceral as on previous records, but there's something just gorgeous and lulling about a lot of the songs here. Maybe it's that explorations of love are buried here under much of the noise. The droniness of aforementioned "Tom Violence," or the plinky percussive strings on "Shadow Of A Doubt" with its whispered Kim vocal balance out the rushing almost-pop of "Starpower," grotesque storytelling of "In The Kingdom #19" or the thrillingly horrifying "Marilyn Moore." Later on Kim delivers a narrative over stray piano on "Secret Girls" and eventually the whole thing is wrapped up with what is one of the greatest rock songs ever recorded: "Expressway To Yr Skull." This is one of those records where every track could be my favorite. Strangely the CD version has always tacked on the bonus track "Bubblegum" which just doesn't fit well with everything that preceded it in my opinion. But that's a pretty minor complaint about the best album ever recorded.

Sonic Youth
Sister
1987, There's always been this certain tone I've gotten from Sister that I'm not quite sure how to describe. It's way less warm than Evol. It's darker. And the guitar notes feel like knives. It feels more akin to Confusion or Bad Moon than Evol, but is clearly written by the same band that created that record. But this one opens with "Schizophrenia," a song about insanity which certainly starts things on a different foot. While certainly there are mellow moments here like on "Beauty Lies In The Eye," or the absolutely beautiful "Cotton Crown," for the most part Sister just fucking rocks. "Catholic Block," "Stereo Sanctity," "Tuff Gnarl"... these are some songs made up of pure energy. "Pacific Coast Highway" feels like the one true throwback to the nightmares of Bad Moon and Evol. Sister is really kind of a weird record. It takes some strange chances and yet none of them feel super daring - even the cover of "Hot Wire My Heart" somehow fits here cohesively. Maybe even weirder is that the version of "Master-Dik" included as a bonus track on the CD release manages to make some sort of sense on this album even with its goofy rapping. In that sense Sister may well be the most interesting record that Sonic Youth created in this era.


I love your review of EVOL. Of course both of these are favourites of mine. But Sister feels more just like a collection of songs, but a /tight/ collection of great songs. But EVOL, there's just something special about that album for me, even if song-by-song it may not stack up as well against other SY albums.

Bad Moon Rising has a lot of the same sound as EVOL, but in my opinion just feels unfinished/ half-baked. There's good stuff there, don't get me wrong, but it's one of their weaker efforts.

noisereductions 10.03.2017 08:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dirty bunny
I love your review of EVOL. Of course both of these are favourites of mine. But Sister feels more just like a collection of songs, but a /tight/ collection of great songs. But EVOL, there's just something special about that album for me, even if song-by-song it may not stack up as well against other SY albums.


yeah, that's sort of maybe how I think too. Like Sister is full of great songs. The whole time I'm like "Schizophrenia, great! Tuff Gnarl, great! Cotton Crown, great!" etc. But Evol is just like... this really perfectly cohesive thing. This singular ALBUM (ignoring "Bubblegum" that doesn't even belong there haha) that just hangs together like a pink cloud around you. Try as I may - I doubt I'll ever fully be able to put into words what it is about this album, but there's really nothing else quite like it to my ears. Where as Sister, is yeah, a bunch of great Sonic Youth songs. Period. It's obviously not a knock or put down or anything. I love Sister. But Sister isn't Evol. Nothing is.

Quote:

Bad Moon Rising has a lot of the same sound as EVOL, but in my opinion just feels unfinished/ half-baked. There's good stuff there, don't get me wrong, but it's one of their weaker efforts.

I still love BMR. But I feel like it's got a super strong A-side and then a bit lesser B-side but ends with "Death Valley 69" which is so outstanding that it sort of makes up for that slightly weaker b-side. As I mentioned when I talked about BMR a couple of weeks ago, really my fav song on the album would be "Halloween" which wasn't even originally on the damn record.

Severian 10.03.2017 10:07 AM

Fucking BMR is not half-baked you chodes! :)

It’s kinda what SY was all about af that time, and continued to be all about even after they developed a more rockist sound. The transitions on BMR make it all bleed together gloriously. It opens with one of the greatest five-or-so minutes in the SY canon (“Intro” > “Brace Men Run”) and hidden in the gaps between proper songs are infectious ass grooves and moments of glorious tsunami noise.
“Society is a Hole” grabbed me by the bits more than just about any other SY song on first listen, if I’m honest with myself. I heard it and never forgot the drone, or the lyrics. When a droney, stony mess like that can get stuck in your head like a pop song, you’re fucking on to something.
The end of “Justice is Might” is revelatory. Takes some patience to locate those moments, but they’re totally there.
“I’m Insane” is one of their most kickass songs, period.
“Halloween” is perfect. That groove, and Kim’s delivery, are quintessentially SY through and through.

I feel like a lot of people, surprisingly, listen to BMR only for “Death Valley ‘69,” which is badass and everything, but it’s not even one of the best songs on the album (or on the reissued album with the bonus tracks, which I’m considering “the album” since it’s the only thing I’ve ever know).

BMR is top tier Sonic Youth. So is Evol. So is Sister. So is Daydream. I feel like the top tierness of BMR is not even debatable. It’s part the best sequence of albums of the 1980s.

Also, it’s fall... this is BMR SEASON. No album sounds better against a backdrop of falling leaves and increasingly chilly winds.

Severian 10.03.2017 10:14 AM

You guys do have me playing Evol against Sister in my head and wondering if I’m not more of an Evol guy at this point in my life, though. Doubt it, but it’s worth investigating. And I don’t actually think Evol is more cohesive than Sister. I think it can sound that way because it’s more compressed, and it’s mixed and mastered in a way that gives it a more level feel. Sister is much more dynamic, production wise, and has a rockier sound with sharper edges. So it sounds less like a well-kneaded dough and more like peaks and valleys. But that doesn’t mean the quality isn’t there. That doesn’t mean the sequencing isn’t spot on. As an album it’s goddamn electrifying.

The only thing I could really do without (speaking of the CD versions here) is “Master-Dik.” I take back my comment about “White Cross.” I love that song. It should come before “Kotton Krowb,” but as a song it totally belongs on the record. Just maybe not in the place it occupies. That album should close with “Kotton Krown,” y’all. We know it.

noisereductions 10.03.2017 10:20 AM

Yes, "Intro/Brave Men" rules. And then you mentioned a couple more from the A-side. Then one from the b-side. Then a bonus track which I already said would be my favorite song on the album - had it originally been on the album.

BMR is great. It was great then. It's still great. But Evol is greater.

noisereductions 10.03.2017 10:24 AM

the best BMR songs are "Intro/Brave Men Run," "Death Valley 69," and "Halloween."

The best Evol songs are... the 9 songs that make up the album proper.

;)

Severian 10.03.2017 11:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
the best BMR songs are "Intro/Brave Men Run," "Death Valley 69," and "Halloween."

The best Evol songs are... the 9 songs that make up the album proper.

;)


No, the best Evol songs are “Tom Violence,” “Shadow of a Doubt” “Madonna, Sean and Me/Expressway...” and “Starpower.” :)

evollove 10.03.2017 01:06 PM

btw, I'm not a huge audiophile but Evol is mixed really low on CD. I crank that fucker and it doesn't get loud enough. Anyone else ever notice that? I look forward to a remaster just so I can shake my car windows.

Severian 10.03.2017 07:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by evollove
btw, I'm not a huge audiophile but Evol is mixed really low on CD. I crank that fucker and it doesn't get loud enough. Anyone else ever notice that? I look forward to a remaster just so I can shake my car windows.


Yeah, I’m not sure I noticed it was mixed low, but the mixing is off. Not as satisfying as Sister imo, not as dynamic.

noisereductions 10.03.2017 10:18 PM

Prob cuz of Sister's studio really.

Savage Clone 10.03.2017 10:57 PM

Nurse With Wound - Psilotripitaka 4xLP box

Geoffrey 10.04.2017 02:52 AM

Breaking Benjamin - Forget It. I love this group!

Severian 10.04.2017 10:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
Prob cuz of Sister's studio really.



Well, I think we can all agree that all of these albums are absolutely integral parts of SY’s evolution, and part of one of the best album runs in the history of music. It really doesn’t matter where you start — whether it’s with self-titled or Confusion, or BMR — every release from this period just flowed perfectly into the next, and built on what was there before while also branching off into strikingly different territory every time.

They didn’t really take a step backward until Goo, and I actually think that’s more of a step sideways. Sounds exactly like the band that made DDN, only on a major label budget.

I don’t know about you guys, but I really like Sonic Youth ;)

greenlight 10.04.2017 02:53 PM

i am with Severian on this one. BMR is perfect album.

I can't never decide between Evol and Sister, both are great equally, but man, BMR is mindblowing.

Severian 10.04.2017 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greenlight
i am with Severian on this one. BMR is perfect album.

I can't never decide between Evol and Sister, both are great equally, but man, BMR is mindblowing.


THANK YOU!!!

candymoan 10.06.2017 07:47 AM

check out tom barman's new project, taxi wars..
have been obsessed over it for some time now..
it's great - deserves its own thread here...

noisereductions 10.06.2017 08:26 AM

The Smashing Pumpkins
Adore
1998, The Pumpkins were on a streak in the 90's that made me feel like each new album was instantly my new favorite Pumpkins album. Adore was no exception. Except Adore sounded very unlike their previous records. With Jimmy out of the band it seemed like the only obvious replacement would be a machine. And so SP found their inner Depeche Mode. Or I guess they just started rubbing elbows with Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor via the Lost Highway soundtrack. Yup, this would be marketed as their 'electronic' album. But it's really not that gimmicky. Somehow layering synths and drum machines over sparse acoustic guitars and piano feels totally organic here. It sounds like Smashing Pumpkins while sounding like nothing they'd really done before. "To Sheila" is a lovely opener with a soft finger-picked guitar, washes of ambience and vocals layered to eternity. I still love the single "Ava Adore," and "Perfect" is fine even if it's a rather dull sequel to "1979." Deeper though we get varied awesomeness like "Pug" which rivals the b-side "Eye" in my mind as their finest electronic-era moment. "Shame" harkens back to the shoe-gazey sound of Gish while still feeling like it belongs on this record. "Annie-Dog" is a killer upbeat piano stomper. Eventually the record comes down with the somber "Blank Page" and then "17 Seconds," which is pretty much just what its title says. Make no mistakes, this album is a bit of a black sheep. But it's also maybe secretly the best Pumpkins album.

Severian 10.06.2017 11:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by noisereductions
The Smashing Pumpkins
Adore
1998, The Pumpkins were on a streak in the 90's that made me feel like each new album was instantly my new favorite Pumpkins album. Adore was no exception. Except Adore sounded very unlike their previous records. With Jimmy out of the band it seemed like the only obvious replacement would be a machine. And so SP found their inner Depeche Mode. Or I guess they just started rubbing elbows with Marilyn Manson and Trent Reznor via the Lost Highway soundtrack. Yup, this would be marketed as their 'electronic' album. But it's really not that gimmicky. Somehow layering synths and drum machines over sparse acoustic guitars and piano feels totally organic here. It sounds like Smashing Pumpkins while sounding like nothing they'd really done before. "To Sheila" is a lovely opener with a soft finger-picked guitar, washes of ambience and vocals layered to eternity. I still love the single "Ava Adore," and "Perfect" is fine even if it's a rather dull sequel to "1979." Deeper though we get varied awesomeness like "Pug" which rivals the b-side "Eye" in my mind as their finest electronic-era moment. "Shame" harkens back to the shoe-gazey sound of Gish while still feeling like it belongs on this record. "Annie-Dog" is a killer upbeat piano stomper. Eventually the record comes down with the somber "Blank Page" and then "17 Seconds," which is pretty much just what its title says. Make no mistakes, this album is a bit of a black sheep. But it's also maybe secretly the best Pumpkins album.


My opinion: this is SP trying to capitalize on OK Computer and Downward Spiral and Fat of the Land. Rather listen to any of those albums. This one’s a stinky boy.

But hey... I watch a really pathetic interview with Corgan and Marilyn Manson a few years ago (oddly, Marilyn Manson cane out looking like the cool and smart one) and Billy Corgan was just SUPER bitchy about Trent Reznor. I don’t know why this is. Do you? Is it just simple talent and success jealousy? Or maybe the fact that a half-jock, half-programming nerd managed to out-art-rock a pasty theater wank like Corgan?

Is it Oscar envy?

Lol. No, seriously... I don’t know what the beef is and as far as I know Reznor has never spoken ill of his developmentally disabled inbred cousin from Chicago, so why all the hate? Just made Corgan look like an even bigger wanker than he already was.


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