Sonic Youth

Formed 1981. Disbanded 2011.
Sonic Youth

Biography

Sonic Youth was an American alternative rock band from New York City, formed in 1981. Their most recent lineup consisted of Thurston Moore (guitar, vocals), Kim Gordon (bass guitar, vocals, guitar), Lee Ranaldo (guitar, vocals), Steve Shelley (drums) and Mark Ibold (guitar, bass guitar). In their early career, Sonic Youth was associated with the No Wave art and music scene in New York City. Part of the first wave of American noise rock groups, the band carried out their interpretation of the hardcore punk ethos throughout the evolving American underground that focused more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than its specific sound.

The band experienced relative commercial success and critical acclaim throughout their existence, continuing partly into the new millennium, including signing to major label DGC in 1990 and headlining the 1995 Lollapalooza festival. Sonic Youth have been praised for having "redefined what rock guitar could do", using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tunings and preparing guitars with objects like drum sticks and screwdrivers to alter the instruments' timbre. The band is considered to be a pivotal influence on the alternative rock and indie rock movements.

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Links & Information

Members

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Hits Are for Squares

    Hits Are for Squares 2011

    Reviewed by Alex Deller
    A gentle point of entry into the influential band’s sprawling back catalogue.
  2. Review of Simon Werner a Disparu

    Simon Werner a Disparu 2011

    Reviewed by Mike Diver
    A soundtrack that’s a powerful piece of art in its own right.
  3. Review of The Eternal

    The Eternal 2009

    Reviewed by Nick Reynolds
    Dissonance, rock action, hot sex and politics: all you need for great entertainment.
  4. Review of Murray Street

    Murray Street

    Reviewed by Nick Reynolds
    These guitars sound like America; lyrical, tuneful, gnarled and ugly, subway trains...
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