Album: Sonic Nurse
. . .
At some point in the early 2000’s, Sonic Youth came to an unspoken agreement with their fans: the really really experimental stuff would show up on their SYR series, and their Geffen records would feature more song-oriented stuff. As the decade progressed and everybody — including their fan base, natch — got older, those final few records were consistently good, but with the rest of the world long having caught up with them, and a zillion 90s bands having borrowed liberally from their initial innovations, they weren’t ever going to be perceived as anything but elder statespeople.
But they were still Sonic Youth, and they were still great, and every single one of their 2000s records has its pleasures.
Like “Peace Attack,” the final track on 2004’s Sonic Nurse, which starts of with a couple of leisurely guitars, and Thurston Moore singing about Gulf War 2.0. Kinda.
3 Feb 03 peace
Early book whistling
Whistling earth day off
Nature sex yawn winking
In any event, with the guitars playing hooks instead of noise, “Peace Attack” slides into a (relatively) pretty chorus.
Of the great
Of the great anti-hate
Springtime is wartime
All eyes to the crimeboss
Electric guitar string
After the second chorus, there’s a nice long guitar solo, a relatively conventional guitar solo from Lee Ranaldo (I think) that builds like a vintage Neil Young solo, and eventually — after a complete breakdown in the middle — restarts the song, but if you were looking for tornado-type noise, this wasn’t the song for you.
That guitar solo might have been played by Jim O’Rourke, who’d been around since NYC Ghosts and Flowers, but left Sonic Youth after Sonic Nurse to produce Wilco’s A Ghost is Born — which we’ll talk about a lot when we get there — and making another link in the Sonic Youth/Wilco/R.E.M./Pavement connections in my brain.
To the point where I swear we saw Sonic Youth open for Wilco at the Greek Theatre in L.A. in the early 2000s — which would be the fifth time I saw them — but I can’t find a single source online to back that memory up, so I guess I’m wrong. Again.
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