Sonic Youth - NYC Ghosts & Flowers

Sonic Youth
NYC Ghosts & Flowers

Long before Alternative Rock was an alternative, Sonic Youth began screwing with the system, melding chaotic exploration with its progressive post-punk roots. NYC Ghosts & Flowers continues this stream-of-consciousness approach with a collage of sonic fragmentation and wall-of-sound methodology that literally spills from your speakers. From the moment the first shimmers of guitar resonate, the urban tone is set, focusing in on a direction and then spiraling out of control. "Free City Rhymes" is a meandering melody of sorts, dwelling upon a a darkly lit street corner, slightly above the grasp of trees. "Renegade Princess" illuminates the cyclical nightmare of big city hookers in a vortex of defiant feedback and rising percussive waves. Bassist Kim Gordon hovers between eardrums in the spoken word incantation of "Side2side." And in "Small Flowers Crack Concrete," Thurston Moore describes a mechanized society based on violence and mistrust. Throughout most of the album, the band successfully strays from the confines of radio-friendly entertainment in search of new of aural stimulus. With NYC Ghosts & Flowers, Sonic Youth paints a feverish vision of impending skyscrapers and subways that seem to haunt and hinder a simpler existence.