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SONIC YOUTH ‘Sonic Nurse’ Geffen 9862547 (2004) Sonic Youth

New York experimentalists Sonic Youth included a power drill on their debut EP, recorded through a wah-wah pedal. The drill doesn't appear to be present on their latest offering, which is arguably more accessible than previous offerings.

Band frontman Thurston Moore once described their music as "expressive fucked-up modernism". 1988's 'Daydream Nation' is regarded as the band's zenith, but in between times they have become increasingly caught up in side projects.

'Sonic Nurse' is a return to values, the band's nineteenth album. 'Unmade Bed' and 'Stones' have a certain charm and immediacy and Kim Gordon's breathy ' I Love You Golden Blue' infectious. The rest is atypical. The band's proto-punk eighties sound is still characterised by their trademark guitar noise. Imagine a more extreme Neil Young mixed up with Siouxie and the Banshees and you get the picture.

This album, though, is strangely hypnotic, the sort of groove you may want to listen to whilst under the influence of some leaf substance or another. Green tea is probably out of the question, though.

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Review by David Randall

Unmade Bed
© 2004 Geffen Records. All rights reserved.

***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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