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Sonic Youth: Live At the Continental Club, Texas 1986

Sonic Youth

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Album Review

Released by Sonic Youth through their fan club, this official bootleg functions as a wonderful document of the band's mid-'80s era just as they were beginning their slow rise to prominence in the underground rock scene. The featured show occurred on April 12, 1986, at the Continental Club in Austin, TX, where the band first debuted the songs from their EVOL album. The stronger songs from EVOL such as "Tom Violence," "Expressway," "Shadow of a Doubt," and "Starpower" show up here in beautiful fashion, making this live recording a wonderful supplement to the studio album. Since Sonic Youth's studio albums all tend to house a strange tone totally unique to that particular album, these raw performances have a much different feel from the original versions. Furthermore, the band plays a few of their older classics such as "Kill Yr. Idols" and "World Looks Red." Though you might finish this record hungry for more, its 11 songs stand as arguably the best artifact from the band's mid-'80s in terms of sound quality, surpassing Hold That Tiger, another well-circulated live album from the band's following tour in 1987.

Biography

Formed: 1981 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Sonic Youth were one of the most unlikely success stories of underground American rock in the '80s. Where contemporaries R.E.M. and Hüsker Dü were fairly conventional in terms of song structure and melody, Sonic Youth began their career by abandoning any pretense of traditional rock & roll conventions. Borrowing heavily from the free-form noise experimentalism of the Velvet Underground and the Stooges, and melding it with a performance art aesthetic borrowed from the New York post-punk avant-garde,...
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