When Sonic Youth broke up in 2011, the music world lost an icon of indie/punk/art-rock/alternative or whatever you want to call them, as well as one of rock's longest running couples, whose divorce precipitated the band's demise. Sonic Youth is a band I have long admired, but must admit have never really gotten into, aside from "Daydream Nation," which every self-respecting indie fan likes and songs like "Teenage Riot" and "Kool Thing." Released in 1986 on SST, "Evol" (it's love backwards!) is in some ways the first proper Sonic Youth record. Their first with drummer Steve Shelley, it finds them emerging from the murky, dissonant, primordial ooze of punk and No Wave and creating a bigger, better sounding, better crafted record without sacrificing their trademark noise. Like the Velvets before them, they bridged high art and pop culture, as well as noise and melody, albeit not as ably. Evol highlights there obsessions with Hollywood culture ("Madonna, Sean and Me"), the dark side ("Tom Violence") and cheesy pop (the Kim Fowley song "Bubblegum"). "Expressway to Yr Skull" (listed as "Madonna, Sean and Me") is their first truly great song. Not bad for a band blessed with two vocalists, neither of whom could really sing. Minuteman Mike Watt plays on this album. Followed by "Sister."
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