Formed in 1981, the group quickly became an integral part of the New York underground No Wave scene, a nihilistic collective of artists, filmmakers and musicians. Alongside fellow No Wave acts such as Swans and DNA, the band played what could broadly be described as a cacophonous mix of atonal noise. Fronted by the double-headed monster of whiney voiced Thurston Moore and original riot grrrl Kim Gordon, SY released a string of albums that promptly established the group as a major force in underground rock music. Over the course of these releases the band slowly began to inject more traditional pop structures into their compositions, contrasting dissonant musical textures with pretty indie rock. This resulted in an unexpected foray into mainstream popularity with 1988’s “Daydream Nation,” nowadays cited by critics as one of the most influential underground rock records of all time and even spawning a hit single with “Teenage Riot.”
From here the band signed to major label Geffen and had their biggest hits with the albums “Goo” and “Dirty”, of course for a band so consistently against the grain of popular music, commercial success has only ever been fleeting at best. Over the next fifteen years the band continued to release an array of records that have fascinated and frustrated fans in almost equal measure including the heavily improvisational “NYC Ghosts and Flowers” and the clean melodious trio of “Murray Street,” “Sonic Nurse” and “Rather Ripped.”
Having recently left Geffen, Sonic Youth (now all pushing 50) are returning to the world of indie labels with their 15th studio album, reportedly named “The Eternal,” which is tentatively scheduled for release in summer 2009. Here’s to eternal youth.