Yes, I’ve covered Sonic Youth a few times here on Review Revue. But come on, is there any band that better exemplifies the joyful noise of college radio and the rise of “alternative” culture? Of course I discovered them myself by listening to college radio, and I’m sure many more did as well - especially those who were too young in the ’90s to go out to clubs. They’ve also released a ton of albums, every one of which has inspired strong opinions in that most opinionated population, the college DJs of America.
Dirty is the album that came out after Goo, the album that got me into Sonic Youth, but for some reason I never owned or listened much to this one. Blame the fickleness of youth, I suppose (or blame Butch Vig). Seems the KCMU DJs were mixed on this one, but that’s nothing new. Regardless, the band powered on for almost two more decades before finally being laid low by the shocking split of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, which old school indie rockers around the world are still coming to terms with.
“Plenty of fury + abandon here, with the whole thing sounding leaner + meaner than ever. Small sections of beauty scattered throughout. This rocks. I love it. 1-2, 1-3, 2-1, 2-2, 2-4, 3-1, 3-4, 4-1, 4-2, 4-3 are my favs, only 3-2 is a real washout. Confident, sexy + loud.”
“4-1 is a non CD cut available here.”
“They’ve lost their edge - maybe they’ve stopped doing drugs or they’re getting old. This is still good, it’s just not incredible like Sister+ Goo.”
“Attention! Please to find a FCC-suck up version of ‘Youth Against Fascism’ in the radio edit cart area . . . (ironic, ain’t it?) (please rewind.) Attack and Fire.”
“They were better when they sounded like a noisy symphony. This alternative ZZ Top stuff has got to go.”
“Oh really? 99.9% of bands would cream to make 1/2 the songs on this album. Turn off your minds, folks.”