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Sonic Youth by Sonic Youth
Released: Mar 1981
Label: Squeaky Squawk
Sonic Youth's unjustly maligned five-song 1982 debut is probably their only album (or maxi-EP, whatever) to emphasize rhythm over melody or din. That's owed largely to soon-to-depart original drummer Richard Edson, who gives "She Is Not Alone" and "I Don't Want to Push It" an Afro-Caribbean undertow, which must've fit right in amid NYC's Konk/Material/Bush Tetras post-no-wave punk-funk milieu. There's lots of dub space too, notably in explicitly reggae-inspired opener "The Burning Spear." The 2006 expanded reissue adds seven '81 live tracks ("She Is Not Alone" the noisiest) and one early demo.
CHUCK EDDY