Sonic Youth is back to a quartet on "Rather Ripped," out this week via Geffen. The 12-track set is the band's first to not feature longtime collaborator Jim O'Rourke since 1998's "A Thousand Leaves."
Sonic Youth is back to its core quartet on "Rather Ripped," out this week via Geffen. The 12-track set is the band's first to not feature longtime collaborator Jim O'Rourke since 1998's "A Thousand Leaves." Sonic Youth will support the set via several July dates with Pearl Jam and an end-of-summer run with the Flaming Lips.
"Rather Ripped" kicks off with the Kim Gordon-sung rocker "Reena" and in general offers more of a concise attack than on recent, more jam-oriented releases such as "Murray Street" and "Sonic Nurse." Gordon is more of a vocal presence as well, singing lead on five tracks, including the gentle "Turquoise Boy," which is dirtied up with bursts of noise at its conclusion.
Other highlights include Thurston Moore's propulsive "Incinerate," which seems evolved from the Sonic Youth classic "Teenage Riot," and the Lee Ranaldo-sung "Rats," which blends a dark Gordon bass grove with thick sheets of guitar.
"Some of it seems to be an extension of the last couple of records, but some hearkens forward into territory and also back to earlier, more dissonant and atonal stuff we've done," Ranaldo says of the new material. "There's definitely some rocking songs and also some sound piece-y kind of things that are pretty interesting as well."