Sonic Youth

Making music-influenced noise since 1981, Sonic Youth has had a penchant for twisting distortion around lyrics. Sonic staples like "Sugar Kane," " Bull in the Heather" and "Teenage Riot" showed that yes, even Sonic Youth can pen and perform coherent rock songs. Alas, Thurston Moore and company usually delve towards the obscure with sometimes bland, chaotic results.

NYC Ghosts & Flowers is one of those bland results. More mellow than usual, the group trades their loose structure for freestyle musings over Hitchcock-creepy guitar buzzing. Rarely have Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore sounded so subdued. What, did someone tell them to turn their amps down? NYC Ghosts & Flowers is Sonic Youth minus anything sonic.

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