Album: Sonic Youth ‘The Eternal’

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Despite being old enough to have school-wagging grandkids of their own, Sonic Youth are reliving the tingly-toed feeling of walking out of those school-gates for the last time. The ’80s alt-rock pioneers ditched their major label, getting back their indie roots and, so they say, their freedom. Whatever they’ve been doing, it’s working. ‘The Eternal’ is the most focused and fulfilling of any SY offerings of the past decade, stripping their sound back to a blank canvas of simple, unforced emotion. There are some quietly brilliant gems tucked away on this release, amongst a backdrop of guitar jams and ferocious lyrics. Tracks worthy of repeat listen include ‘Leaky Lifeboat’, an ironically upbeat tribute to late beat poet, Gregory Corso, and closing track ‘Massage The History’, a subdued and desperate wave of nostalgia. No band is eternal, but after almost 30 years, SY look like being here for the long haul.

‘The Eternal’ is out through Remote Control.