Sonic Youth
Bad Moon Rising


3.0
good

Review

by Runeii USER (2 Reviews)
December 25th, 2008 | 13 replies


Release Date: 1985 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Sonic Youth's moodiest album.

When Sonic Youth released their second full-length, titled Bad Moon Rising, their music was rather far away sonically (no pun intended) from the aspects that made their best albums--Daydream Nation, EVOL--classics. There isn’t the more melodic influences nor was there the more subdued, calmer sound of these more widely acclaimed albums in Bad Moon Rising, instead, there’s bucket loads of noise and chaos and songs that derive heavy influence from avant-garde composers like Rhys Chatham and Glenn Branca. Considering the type of conditions the members of the band were living in--apartments that were mostly inhabited by violent junkies as well as living in a constant state of poverty--it seems more right that the band’s music is as frightening and out-there as NYC was during those times.

It should come as no surprise then that Bad Moon Rising is insufferably gloomy and unforgiving when examining its background. Songs examine fun lyrical topics such as insanity and Charles Manson, and the music raptly matches this poetic focus. Sonic Youth’s songs have always been characterized by their abstract structure as well as containing bucket loads of feedback, but this batch of tunes take these extremes to new levels. Songs like “Society is a Hole” and “Ghost Bitch” are creepily emotionless and cacophonous, and push punk’s limits. It wasn't revolutionary and still isn't today to do away with melody and structure, but no one has seemed to have a mastery of this like Sonic Youth, and Bad Moon Rising proves this. However, since nearly all tracks besides “Brave Men Run” and the excellent Lydia Lunch-assisted closer “Death Valley ‘69” are decidedly experimental and ominous, most of Bad Moon Rising plays out like a rather unremarkable haze of noise and raucous vocals provided by Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon. Unfortunately, this makes Bad Moon Rising rather forgettable, with really only “Death Valley ‘69” making any sort of actual impact.

Despite this, Bad Moon Rising still deserves a listen if you’re starting to get into this band’s colorful discography. It’s much more disturbing and forbidding than the rest of Sonic Youth’s albums, and it’s also one of the more classically-infused albums Sonic Youth has ever produced. It isn’t perfect, hell, it isn’t even really that good, but it’s at least different. And that deserves some props. Right?


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SowingSeason STAFF (4)
I’ve never done drugs, but I imagine that this is what a bad trip would feel like…...


Comments:Add a Comment 
magictikkleCwicked
December 25th 2008


272 Comments


You could have gone more in depth with your detailing but you got the basic idea down, it was a good review. I miss listening to this album, its one of my favs of theirs.

DhA
September 16th 2009


421 Comments


yeah i've just listened to this for the first time - i prefer the overall sound on this record over any individual songs tbh, but it was enjoyable.

Roach
October 13th 2009


2148 Comments


rules

rasputin
October 13th 2009


14897 Comments


anything released by SY in the 80s rules

Roach
October 13th 2009


2148 Comments


anything released by sonic youth ever rules (apart from some bad stuff but we can let that slide)

rasputin
October 13th 2009


14897 Comments


123

Roach
October 13th 2009


2148 Comments


456

Roach
October 13th 2009


2148 Comments


78923

rasputin
October 13th 2009


14897 Comments


i fuk niges

Roach
October 13th 2009


2148 Comments


i got fucked by a nig and it gave eme somthing

fenderjazz1
February 24th 2010


2 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

good album if you wanna crawl in a dark place

~Nick

Meatplow
April 14th 2010


5524 Comments


not bad so far

Dinosaur
May 5th 2010


1035 Comments


I've been curious about this album, gonna listen soon

Digging: Taurus (USA-OR) - No/Thing



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