Hot Disc: The Eternal

Unhappy, not-so-sweet 16th album, Sonic Youth! Unless you’ve been living under an indie rock, you know The Eternal (Matador Records) is, as of today, the here and now. Can’t run out to buy the record this second? Rest your Converse—it’s officially streaming on iLike.

Thurston, Kim & Co—this time around, the posse includes ex-Pavement bassist Mark Ibold—have been making noise sound like music for almost 30 years. The argument pervades: are they better than the rest, or just way cooler? For sure, they’re not getting any worse. As NYC’s most seminal post-Ramones band, they’ve always had quick-and-dirty down to a science (rare is the Sonic Youth song that sludges past the three- or four-minute mark) but the layered reverbrations seem to linger longer now. It’s Gordon, 56 and still indomitably hip—even if she’s selling out at Urban Outfitters—who possesses the best of these surprisingly eclectic 12 tracks. “What’s it like to be a girl in a band?” she sings mockingly over the thrash of “Sacred Trickster.” Later, when her scratchy croon rises—almost floats—over Moore’s vocals on the beat-poetic standout “Leaky Lifeboat,” it sounds pretty sweet after all.

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