Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped (Universal/Geffen)

As you might or might not know, Amanda De Cadenet currently spends her days hanging with the beautiful Nick Strokes whilst taking pictures of her alt.rock friends, including Sonic Youth, here, on the inside cover. And what a nice picture it is, but that is probably because the Youth are such nice people. Whatever, what an awesome album this is. Never afraid to put the catchy-biatch of a summer hit as track 1 (think ‘100%’), this album starts out with not one, but two belters. ‘Reena’ has a light, bass-driven flow, with tangly guitars reminiscent of good Libertines, and Kim’s voice sounds captivating. “Incinerate” follows a similar formula, and although the tune is more restrained, it is also more persistent, and Thurston’s voice sounds like J Mascis.

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I have repeated this song to death, and still crave it – it’s magnificent. There are some less hypnotic moments here, but there are no ‘skip-to-next’ numbers, except perhaps the two bonus tracks. It is frequently stunningly good, nor are the days of good old-fashioned NOISE abandoned wholly, as on the mesmerising and urban ‘Rats’ sung by Lee Ranaldo. A number such as ‘Jams Run Free’ has all the dark, sexy disharmony you could ever desire from Sonic Youth (which, as any fan will confess, is actually quite a lot). This album proves that in spite of age, Sonic Youth are simply one of the best things on the current rock scene. Whether the same thing can be said of Ms De Cadenet is a different question.

SIA (CMU)

Release Date: 5 Jun

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