BAD MOON RISING is one of the most important albums of the 80s and Sonic Youth are one of the greatest pioneers in the history of rock music. They debuted in New York in 1981 under the aegis of “dissonance” master Glenn Branca, and they succeeded in merging rock and avant-garde music like few others, focusing especially on the debasement of post-industrial cities. The album is a mix of improvisation and calculation, cacophony and distortions, sophistication and stratification of sound, thanks to the versatile personalities of guitarist Lee Ranaldo, leader Thurston Moore and his wife Kim Gordon. Feast of dissonance, glorification and demolition of the electric guitar sound, lysergic trip into the urban psyche, the album is made of references to No Wave, especially Lydia Lunch, James Chance and Arto Lindsay. Many years after The Velvet Underground, New York is excellently described again in all its alienation, its dreams and nightmares. Ghost Bitch, hit by mechanical noises, recreates the atmospheres and the noises of an industrial harbour in the night; the dreamlike I Love Her All The Time is made of distortions in a wasteland; the Luciferian, swinging Death Valley ’69, starring Lydia Lunch herself, is one of the rock masterpieces of all times, shaken by industrial clangour and an amazing display of electric guitars. Finally, drummer Bob Bert deserves a place among the greatest musicians of all time, turning the “pshyco-trance” of I’m Insane and other tracks into masterpieces. If you think that 80s didn’t deliver solid, innovative and powerful Rock Music, think again.
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