Sonic Youth's Sister

Punk Planet | March/April 2005

I arrived at my best friend’s house a few hours after it got there. She opened it up and laid it on the turntable. The drums kicked in first. They sounded almost tribal and echoed as if they were played from inside one of New York’s vacant rotundas. I lay down on her pink carpet and started filling out a quiz in Sassy. Halfway through “Schizophrenia” she says, “This one’s good, huh?” I don’t answer for nearly 15 minutes until “Pipeline/Kill Time” spins on. “It’s amazing,” I say, and she laughs. “You’re totally in love with Lee’s singing,” she says, tossing me the liner notes just in time for the distorted chords that open up “Tuff Gnarl.” In the background, Kim’s bass drove the melodies from the ground up. “Saints preserve us in hot young stuff / The saving grace is a sonic pic pile / Amazing grazing, strange and raging.” Meanwhile, Thurston and Lee’s guitars, split between speakers, have a musical conversation about the difference between love and lust. “Flies are flaring thru your brains / Spastic flailing literally raising my roof / An adrenal mental man-tool box / Explodes in music, creates utopia / You gnarl on my nerves / You weird and crush the cranking raunch.” Spinning out in a whirr of Moog synthesizer, pushing into infinity through the drone of the frenzied feedback, Sonic Youth had created their first record of true compositions, symphonies of noise filled with rage, hope, fear, and love. A manifestation of my brain’s twisted paths and the first record to ever steal my heart.