Music Reviews
Murray Street

Sonic Youth Murray Street

(Geffen) Rating - 8/10

Sonic Youth are a band that make the phrase "difficult second album" look totally ridiculous - this is their 16th effort in a hugely influential career spanning a startling 21 years - a prolific record I'm sure you'll agree. But wouldn't it be natural for a band to disappear up their own orifices after such a long time? Shouldn't there be something wrong with this? Shouldn't Sonic Youth be washed up has-beens by now, eclipsed by the new kids on the block (not the band)? Well, in a word, no.

If you doubt the importance of Sonic Youth then a few listens to Murray Street will make you think again. Yes, there are only seven rather lengthy tracks here but you'll have to look elsewhere for signs of indulgence. The Empty Page is a cracking opener that serves as sure-fire proof that their creative juices are still bubbling away merrily. As the album unfolds there are flashes of white noise and meandering guitar but this is complemented nicely by some of the finest indie-rock tunes I've heard this year.

Ok so I've dished out the accolades and hammered home the point that Sonic Youth are still important. But what if you're not convinced? What more can I say? The sceptics amongst you should consider the fact that this is the first full Sonic Youth album to feature the band's newest member, Jim O' Rourke. This is a good thing. He's an unfeasibly talented guy and if his name means nothing to you then don't worry - it just means that you have two things to go away and investigate. Wherever you start, you're in for a definite treat...