Monday, 2 July 2007



Emerging with a scream and a bassline that sounds like it is being played on rubber bands a gnarly ferocity and urgency engulfs proceedings as the spectre of supposed sick individuals come down from the hills to get up to no good is expressed. With Lydia Lunch in tow this is the aural equivalent of napalm, the sound of an undesirable fabric of society taking responsibility into their own hands and causing bedlam in the process. Creepy crawl.

Its no secret that this about the Manson family and the things they did. There was always a strange kind of obsession for the movement amongst the bands on SST which I guess was due to events being on their doorstep as the hippy dream was mangled by some kind of terrifying force that would always be misunderstood and confusing to anyone outside the circle. I guess this was taking the death of the hippy to the Nth dream and in a warped way it was revolutionary.

From across the country Sonic Youth will have read and watched about this in New York wondering just what the fuck was going on in the West. In Death Valley ‘69 here is a truly frightening sounding record with its chanted vocals that sound like a cult mass committing a sacrifice to their cause. With lines such as “she started to holler, I didn’t wanna” only the worst possible of images can be conjured.

The playing on this record is equally disorientating with a methodical and tempered drive while in the background a snarling inferno of noise gradually builds before coming to the forefront for the bloody conclusion of the song. Drawn in and destroyed.

Arrested on sight.

Thesaurus moment: cacophony.

Sonic Youth

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