Bad Moon Rising review by Sonic Youth

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  • Released: Feb 28, 1985
  • Sound: 10
  • Lyrics: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 7 (12 votes)
Sonic Youth: Bad Moon Rising

Sound — 10
Sonic Youth are more famous for their 90's and late 80's albums, so I decided to review one of their earlier, lesser known albums, which if you ask me stands equal to the likes of "Daydream Nation", "Goo" and "Dirty". "Bad Moon Rising" displays Sonic Youth's more Noise, No Wave, Avant-Garde etc talents. On this record they made some of the most insane and intense songs I've ever heard, which is mainly due to the groundbreaking guitar skills of Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, who would tune their guitar's into unorthodox tunings and play slide guitar with drumsticks and screwdrivers to create interesting as well as eerie sounds. The music can be gentle to create peaceful and romantic atmospheres on the album; but just as often the music will be abrasive and unsettling, to give off the impression that the young members of Sonic Youth would jam in a mental institution.

Lyrics — 10
Sonic Youth have two brilliant vocalists, Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, who also plays bass in Sonic Youth. Thurston Moore can have both a soothing tone to his voice, displaying in songs like "Society Is A Hole" and "I Love Her All The Time", but on other songs such as "I'm Insane" and "Death Vally 69", Moore's voice takes a really sinister turn, that is capable of sending shivers down the listener's spine. Gordon has a very tortured voice on this album, which gives the impression that she is vulnerable, and someone the listener can relate to more, as opposed to Moore's madman character. This is best shown on "Brave Men Run In My Family" and "Ghost B-tch". The lyrics are excellent because they are storytellers. Take "I'm Insane", which opens with "Love starved backwood teaser farm girl hot eyed bride, stone cold blonde, a quivering menace, atomic wallop wholesale murder", I have no idea what most of the stuff means, or is referring to, but it makes me interested and wanting to know how these stories end, and what lessons I can take from them.

Overall Impression — 10
I've always been a big fan of heavy music, and before I heard this album, I would look for heavy music mainly in Metal and Hardcore Punk, but this CD showed me a different kind of heavy. This album showed me that heavy music isn't all about being fast and loud, but heavy music could also be about being creepy and unhinged. My favourite songs are "Death Vallay 69", for it's high energy guitar riffs, slasher movie esque lyrics and an excellent guest vocal from Lydia Lunch; "Society Is A Hole", because it's like an eye of the storm moment in terms of the Moore songs on the album and "I'm Insane", as it is, like it suggests in the title, craaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaazzzzyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy.

5 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Sonic Youth is the kind of band that has been around forever, but I was always too lazy to check it out. I'm currently in the middle of a moderate addiction (if that makes any sense ) to "Daydream Nation" and "Goo". I'll give this one a listen asap.
    i love sonic youth. i also have an addiction to listening to one album all the time for months! 'Bad Moon Rising' is awesome but not habit forming enough for me. Out of their 80's stuff, 'Sister' is my favourite, then 'EVOL' and of course 'Daydream Nation' . i have phases with all of their albums(especially Thurston Moore's Psychic Hearts solo lp) except Goo...i don't know why!? i really like Disappearer though. But you did a great job on this review! suddenly i feel like listening to death valley '69?! it's contagious!
    What's a genre?
    Thanks guys This one or Daydream Nation is certainly the best for me (out of the ones I have so far, which is Dirty and everything that came before)