After spending nearly two decades signed to a major label, New York noise-rock legends Sonic Youth are back where they were circa 1986: on an indie.
The band’s Matador Records debut, The Eternal, doesn’t drop until June 9, but the hype machine’s beginning to crank up on Sonic Youth’s 16th full-length, which was co-produced by Rather Ripped knobman John Agnello and the band.
Recorded through November and December of last year at the band’s Echo Canyon West studio in Hoboken, NJ, The Eternal features many firsts for a Sonic Youth album, including a number of shared vocals between Kim, Thurston, and Lee, and the studio debut of former Pavement/Dustdevils bassist Mark Ibold, a member of Sonic Youth’s touring band for the past few years.
The 12 tracks touch on all of the styles Sonic Youth have experimented with over the years, from no-wave noise blowouts circa their self-titled debut (“Anti-Orgasm”) to the sharply written power-pop songs of Goo and Dirty (“Sacred Trickster,” “Antenna”) to the mellower, more-ruminative tracks of their underrated gem A Thousand Leaves (the almost-10-minute closer “Massage the History”).
Matador says it soon will announce details of a Buy Early Get Now promotion for the album; hopefully the pre-order bait for this one’s as great as the bootleg LP that came with early orders of Pavement’s last reissue.
Full tracklist of The Eternal, which will be released on CD, double vinyl and download: