Album: Rather Ripped
. . .
Most bands a quarter-century into their careers slow down. But not Sonic Youth. Not really. Only twice in their career did they take three years to release their next record: the 1995-1998 gap between Washing Machine and A Thousand Leaves and the 2006 gap between Rather Ripped and their final Geffen album, The Eternal.
But even then, that doesn’t count all of the stuff they were releasing on their SYR imprint, where between 2005-2011, they released four albums of new material — the final one being a film soundtrack to a French film called Simon Werner a disparu — none of which I’ve ever actually heard.
So, if anything, they were speeding up, and in the middle of all of it, they made my favorite of their 2000s album, 2006’s Rather Ripped, which in my year-end roundup for Michael Goldberg’s neumu website, I called “a long-time favorite returning to form.” However, to be honest, I’d forgotten I’d even written that until a couple of weeks ago, but going back, I can see why I liked Rather Ripped so much, as songs like “Pink Steam,” “Do You Believe in Rapture?” and today’s song, “Incinerate” are all stellar examples of Sonic Youth doing what they do best.
“Incinerate” starts off with a long, jangly, hooky lead-in from Lee Ranaldo over a uptempo beat held down by Steve Shelley & Kim Gordon, after which Thurston Moore breathlessly sings.
I ripped your heart out from your chest
Replaced it with a grenade blast
One of the coolest things about the chorus is how Lee Ranaldo’s guitar is practically singing the harmony vocals, but also weaving around the melody line at the same time.
About halfway through the song, the guitars get fuzzier as the guitars often do, leading to another fantastic guitar duet/rave-up between Moore and Ranaldo, as they were still finding ways to work their magic this late in the game. They made both a video and released “Incinerate” as a single, to the usual lack of avail.
“Incinerate” Official Music Video
“Incinerate” Live on TV, 2006
“Incinerate” Live on Letterman, 2006
“Incinerate” Live From The Basement, 2007
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