Sonic Youth are the perfect rock band.
You want noise and ranting? They've got it. You want beautifully crafted guitar solos? The box is ticked. The Eternal is choc-a-block with driving, beefy rock stompers, but it also has a generous portion of good tunes, pop hooks, whoah-whoahs, yeah-yeahs and la-la-las.
Antenna (which sounds like Wichita Lineman rewritten by Pere Ubu), and Walkin' Blue are lovely, warm pop songs. The band's ability to lock into free form guitar fury and suddenly return back into the groove makes me chortle out loud. But there's not a trace of self-indulgence in this honed, crafted and thoroughly enjoyable collection.
I should also warn you that this is a sexy, frankly erotic record. Kim Gordon squeals 'I wanna see you shiver' and 'I'm so hot!' on Calming The Snake which culminates in a series of pile-driving thrusts. Anti-Orgasm is saucy and hilarious, as Gordon and Thurston Moore indulge themselves in a kinky call and response. Poison Arrow is as hypnotic as the sway of a woman's hips.
On Massage The History, Gordon whispers sweet nothings in your ear before a suitably thrilling climax. This pillow talk turns out to be barbed social comment, but that just adds to the fun.
Dissonance, rock action, hot sex and politics: all you need for great entertainment.
Carry on, Sonic Youth! --Nick Reynolds
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