· Sonic Youth arent getting any younger, but then again, neither am I.
Saying that Rather Ripped is Sonic Youths best album since 1990s Goo may be true, but its also misleading. When you consider the breadth of their catalogue, which includes college-rock chart-toppers, experimental soundscapes and everything in between, how you enjoy the latest from New Yorks seminal noise rockers depends on which facet you prefer. I love their cacophonous wall of feedback, but I love the way they fuck with straight-up rock songs even more. In that sense, Rather Ripped is a welcome return to form.
Thurston Moore does the bulk of the vocal work in his usual monotone, with bassist Kim Gordon shedding her riot grrl wail in favour of a childlike sing-song. Lyrically the album raises a few eyebrows, but most of the poetry is oblique or hypnotic enough to be successful. Musically they return to the intricate guitar melodies of Daydream Nation, but tighten up the delivery.
With their trademark guitar acrobatics and atmospheric soundscapes, Rather Ripped is one of the prettiest albums in the Sonic Youth catalogue. Its not a revolutionary album it isnt even that original however, it does combine the best elements of the band in the best way possible. And even after all this time, nobody does it like they do.