Reviews:: Sonic Youth The Destroyed Room

Lots and lots of fantastic noise. That's all usually all that needs to be said about a Sonic Youth record, however the new B-sides/rarities comp deserves a little more cyber ink.

The premise is simple: SY consolidated twelve rare (b-sides) or unavailable tracks into a surprisingly cohesive record. The album consists of tracks written between '94 and '04, and focuses more on the mood-oriented side of the band. All but 3 songs are instrumental, and are much mellower than the title would lead you to believe.

Usually when a band delves into their locked vault, the result is simply a mixed bags of tracks that collectors couldn't afford or access. Instead, The Destroyed Room actually plays pretty seamlessly (which is understandable as the lion's share of the record was taken from the Jim O'Rourke years), and still manages to offer up some great tracks for the die hards. From the pseudo-poppy riff of Kim's Chords to the meandering, industrial clammer of Three-Part Sectional Love Seat, this collection manages to somehow be equally as melodic and focused as it is chaotic.

Probably the big draw for fans is the full version of The Diamond Sea - clocking in at over 25 minutes, but for me the standout track is the Nico-esque Blink. Although SY is renowned for ear shattering noise jams, songs like Blink show how fantastic they can be when they use the sparsest arrangements (this one is simply fuzz and some bongos and Kim's depressed, baritone vocals).

This release isn't a starting point for a SY fan, but it can certainly be considered a conclusion. Chances are that if you like Sonic Youth, you love them and you will want to snatch up these hidden, but surprisingly polished gems.

MP3:: Three-Part Sectional Love Seat
web site :: more tracks


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