Review Summary: Sonic Youth of the fat-free variety.
It must be hard to follow up a classic. As clichéd as it sounds, I’d imagine it was a pretty legitimate concern when recording Goo.
Maybe not for the band itself, but certainly for everyone else. Justifiably so, Daydream Nation
is a beast of a record, one few bands would want as the measure to their proceeding albums(s). But Goo
is not Daydream Nation
, and that is not a bad thing.
As a whole, Goo
chocks up to a concoction along the lines of SonicYouthLite
, but not in the sense that it’s watered down SY; but a compact, fat free, flowing collection of pedal happy art punk. All the sounds they had been toying and experimenting with over their first decade are active on Goo,
while their distance from those jammy roots increased. The LP may be more structured than their earlier work but this is still a raucous, adventurous and sonically abrasive album -- so a great SY record. “Dirty Boots” is one of their best openers, “Tunic” is a buzz heavy rip that sounds like a lost track from the Daydream
sessions. “Mote” is a superb mid section crux, showcasing one of Lee Renaldo’s best performances. Exiting in a roar of reverb the song streamlines the album to it’s experimental backend from it’s semi-structured first half. While the bombastic ending suite of “Cinderella’s Big Score,” “Scooter + Jinx” and “Titanium Exposé” would give any of their walls of riff heavy fuzz a run for their money.
By the time the second half of Goo
kicks in, the effects are on full display, the distortion towering and Sonic Youth are their usual, loud, screechy selves. This less than delicate balance between the buzz and the tunes it what helps the album flow as well as it does. While not as demanding or hard-hitting as some of their better releases, Goo
is still a concise, convincing collection of reverb happy guitar rock with an arty penchant for fuzz proving SY could producing something very worthwhile with a little structure. So I guess SonicYouthLite
really isn’t that bad after all.