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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alternative in the true sense of the word, 26 Sep 2001
This review is from: evol (Audio CD)
This is not one of Sonic Youth's most accessible CDs - it's very noisy at times and hardly has any recognisable, common melodies - but it is nevertheless a great album. I've been a Sonic Youth fan for nine years now, and I think that their music is an acquired taste, something you need to get used to and then try some more of. Evol is essentially for people who already know Sonic Youths and like them. People who don't could find this album pretty difficult to relate to. Evol goes against our conventions of rock-pop music and its boring, predictable melodies and song structures. It challenges us by not quite fitting into any category, because it is alternative in the true sense of the word. But it's not just sitting and suffering while listening to screeching guitars noises; it is enjoyable and strangely coherent. Evol is one of the finest examples of Sonic Youth's musical theory. And it is probably one of the highest-quality alterative music albums you'll ever hear.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot moods..., 7 Nov 2003
This review is from: evol (Audio CD)
Unlike the reviewer below I came across this album at the tender age of 14, and was at that point a Morrissey wannabe! That all changed, though not immediately... I was lent a tape with Evol on one side and SY's follow up Sister on the other side. I had never heard anything like this music before, but it slowly captivated me until it became my muse and guiding light of my teenage years. Less rock n roll that Sister, Evol is more poetic, freeform and haunting. Sonic Youth for the first time demonstrated a truly unique blending of guitar and feedback textures and melodies, with wierd sounding gtrs,a bass and drums shifting behind poetry and songs. There was always something mystic about Evol, I feel it is a serious album. Not a lot of that ironic thing that they went through later. At first I was scared of Evol! I thought Sonic Youth were a horror band! (Who could believe that Huey Lewis and the News could come from the same time and place?) Evol is psychological. Extreme negativity, doubt and also ecstatic peace and hope. It describes emotional hurricanes - as Lydia Lunch might say - but has a dreaminess too. And what are these emotions? They are grey areas not well expressed by rock and pop music. Are there love songs here? I don't know! There is no A&R for this music! Sonically, it could never have been recorded digitally, it has a special warmth. It sounds dated to me now, but it sounded dated when I first heard it. Future dated or timeless.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Introduction to a Great Band, 2 Jan 2007
By 
J. Page (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Evol (Audio CD)
Only my second experience with Sonic Youth, this record has more of an immediate impact than that of the sprawling epic, Daydream Nation. The tracks are contained (many clocking at around three minutes), but still have a raw textured sound to them, where the guitars are occasionally allowed to take hold. The highlight is the penultimate track, `Expressway to Yr Skull' (credited as `Madonna, Sean and Me') with a full three minute section of ambience/distortion.

There are some wonderful moments of contrast throughout the course of the album: `Shadow of a Doubt' is Kim Gordon's finest hour - she whispers over stark muted plucking whilst the track builds to its peak (a classic Sonic Youth rockout coupled with screaming). `Secret Girls' features a twinkling piano melody, a shock to the system after an album of snarling guitars and pounding drums.

Where the album falters slightly is in its attempts at a more simple pop song. The most fitting example being the rather unsuitable closer `Bubblegum', where the exciting rhythmic and textural aspects that drive the album are muddied by more melodic guitar lines and vocal harmonizing over nonsensical lyrics. It is a fun to end such a dark album; it just doesn't sit well with the tracks that precede it.

This is a record that can stand up to the vastness of Daydream Nation, by offering an alternative, tighter set of songs. Highly recommended for any Sonic Youth fan and a good addition to any music collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ok...., 1 Feb 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Evol (Audio CD)
everytime i hear this cd, that kicks off with the amazing tom violence, it scares the shit out of me as much as the last time. this record is pure emotion...and you can tell they were SO in love when the wrote it! tom violence is literally breathtaking, as thurston shouts, 'holding on for dear life' thats exactely what im doing!the guitar is perfect, the drums are perfect, everything is perfect! then it fades into the stunningly beautiful 'shadow of a doubt'which seems like a wonderful dream. to me its all about feeling in love, and exploring bieng a teenager. everyone remembers the ending of this album, the stunning expressway to your skull, which is still scary as fuck. basically, this album is fucking unbelievable, and best late at night, get it!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Has to be my fave, 7 Nov 2003
By 
Nicholas (Redditch, Worcs, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: evol (Audio CD)
The first youth album I got (a few years ago now) and still the scariest and most consistently electrifying in my opinion. The meandering collages of bad moon rising have been replaced by a keener and far more accesible pop sensibility here, and the youth explore the darkest side of pop with an almost joyful aplomb. It's all relative however, and I must warn readers that while I describe this album as the youth's first incling's of a pop side they must realise that this is a harsh, gyrating noisy beast of a record. It snarls and bangs it's way through 9 tracks (bubblegum is a lightweight bonus cut)and takes the listener on a musical journey that terrifies and exhilirates.The opening cut, Tom Violence is one of the best songs that sonic youth have ever recorded, and bubbles under with raw angerand hatred in it's guitars. Next comes the haunting and scary shadow of a doubt that details Kim Gordon's dreams of killing on a train. Starpower is the most obvious examp[le of the pop side I have detailed, and Lee's spoken word "In the kingdom #19" is intense and aggressive.The album's highpoint has to be the exceptional "expressway to yr skull" which snarls and screeches like a possesed demon. Neil young once described it as the greatest guitar song ever recorded, and while that priase might be going a bit far expect to be blown away by the sheer force of the tune and the raging siren like guitars. Be afraid...be very afraid
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot moods..., 19 Dec 2005
This review is from: Evol (Audio CD)
Unlike the reviewer below I came across this album at the tender age of 14, and was at that point a Morrissey wannabe! That all changed, though not immediately... I was lent a tape with Evol on one side and SY's follow up Sister on the other side. I had never heard anything like this music before, but it slowly captivated me until it became my muse and guiding light of my teenage years. Less rock n roll that Sister, Evol is more poetic, freeform and haunting. Sonic Youth for the first time demonstrated a truly unique blending of guitar and feedback textures and melodies, with wierd sounding gtrs,a bass and drums shifting behind poetry and songs. There was always something mystic about Evol, I feel it is a serious album. Not a lot of that ironic thing that they went through later. At first I was scared of Evol! I thought Sonic Youth were a horror band! (Who could believe that Huey Lewis and the News could come from the same time and place?) Evol is psychological. Extreme negativity, doubt and also ecstatic peace and hope. It describes emotional hurricanes - as Lydia Lunch might say - but has a dreaminess too. And what are these emotions? They are grey areas not well expressed by rock and pop music. Are there love songs here? I don't know! There is no A&R for this music! Sonically, it could never have been recorded digitally, it has a special warmth. It sounds dated to me now, but it sounded dated when I first heard it. Future dated or timeless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best, 30 Oct 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Evol (Audio CD)
I cant believe no one has written a review for this album!
Its definatly my favorite from their back catalogue
Its so dark and full of mystery
The guitar's fuzz and wail
and Thurston, Kim and Lee tell you wierd stories about men running over animal's, Television and killing the California girls...
Id recommend this to any alternative fan or any fan of good music!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sonic Youth's best album., 5 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: Evol (Audio CD)
This is Sonic Youth's third proper album, following up the terrifying, terrific Bad Moon Rising. Guitar textures are similar here to that album, but Sonic Youth have added about a thousand extra emotions that did not feature in their previous work. Mostly there is a feeling of 'love' all over this album: the songs are oozing love. It's hard to work out how they have managed to make their guitars sound in love, but they have; especially in 'Star Power,' 'Green Light,' and 'Tom Violence.' Elsewhere there is more scary music ('Marilyn Moore' and 'Death to Our Friends').
When I first got this album I really disliked it. I found it substanceless: I thought there was not very much to it. In reality, it's Sonic Youth's most complete work. Fully experimental, but highly tuneful. Very poetic, but unpretentious. When I put it on it takes me away. As the linear notes say, it climbs and descends - it goes through a massive spectrum of emotions, that are all held together by the central theme of love.
I hate when this album is seen as 'part of Sonic Youth's progression towards Daydream Nation.' It is so much more than that - a masterpiece in its own right. If you've never listened to Sonic Youth before then you have a choice. You can dive right in and buy this, their best, and risk not liking it immediatly (it can be hard going) or you can go for Dirty or Daydream Nation which, both good albums, are poppier and easier to like. Though, I must say this album is easier to listen to. Its less trashy, less 'riot grrl' - more refined, layed back. Listening to 'Secret Girl' is both scary and relaxing - it's beautiful.
So, if you dislike this album, like I did at first, remember to let it grow on you... slowly - don't force it - don't over listen it. Just switch it on when you want to be taken away, into a green world of love. Whatever you do, make sure you buy this album at some stage in your life.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great sonic youth album, 3 April 2013
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This review is from: evol (Audio CD)
This album as it all... noise rock, experimental rock, post punk... oh!, and a great apocalyptic instrumental song. if you like rock (and sonic youth) this is a "must have".
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is the classic sonic youth album!, 14 May 2010
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This review is from: evol (Audio CD)
The perfect 'sonic' C.D. this one is my all time favourite..next to Daydream Nation.. a must for fans of the 'New York City' underground scene!
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