Sonic Youth – The Destroyed Room: B-Sides and Rarities (Universal)

Sonic Youth have been pushing the boundaries of music for nearly 25 years now; always confounding expectations and never releasing anything that could be tagged ‘commercial’. And so in keeping with this tradition, amongst the usual Christmas rush of ‘best of’ compilations and ‘all-time greatest’ albums, they’ve decided to put out an album that’s guaranteed to completely avoid the general winter merriment.  ‘The Destroyed Room’ is a cherry-picked collection of what they see as their finest rare and unreleased tracks – 12 of them in total. It follows the release of ‘Rather Ripped’ earlier in the year, arguably one of their more accessible works, and an album that appealed to more than just the melody-absent, feedback hungry stereotype of a Sonic Youth fan. The stereotypes are likely to be pleased by this release, though, with opening track ‘Fire Engine Dream’ being a 10 minute plus, magnum opus of mind-curdling experimentation. Following this, they unleash a blast of post-rock in ‘Fauxhimians’, a delicate (by Sonic Youth standards), nearly melodious piece in ‘Kim’s Chords’ and the bizarrely named ‘Three Part Sectional Love Seat’ from the even more bizarrely named ‘Noho Furniture Sessions’. So while it’s only likely to appeal to a certain demographic of music fan – the Sonic Youth obsessive – this is a release that shows that they’re a band that are still relevant, still in their prime and still as unique as ever. [OS/CMU]
Release date: 11 Dec

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