By David Chiu
After spending nearly 20 years with a major label, Sonic Youth sensibly goes back to their indie record company roots this time with Matador. The group’s latest debut for that label, The Eternal, is another solid Sonic Youth album with its fast-paced punk and minimalist/bombastic art rock. Yet for those who never really caught on with the band because of Sonic Youth’s affinity for noise, there are some tracks that could be interpreted as “accessible”: the ‘60s styled militaristic rocker “Anti-Orgasm” and the pile-driving “No Way.” The group also shows their funky and somewhat popish side too like on “Leaky Lifeboat (For Gregory Corso)” and the rocker “Malibu Gas Station.” Of course the album is not short of somber and atmospheric songs that feature swirling guitar solos (“Antenna,” “Massage the History”). The band’s sense of exhilaration, urgency and introspection is still evident both in the punkish playing (the passionate “What We Know”) and the artsy, introspective lyrics on The Eternal. Sonic Youth continues to put out music that still feels fresh and exciting.