For more than a quarter century, Sonic Youth – featuring Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley – ruled the New York underground as the reigning post-punk experimental noise band of its era, releasing 15 full-length albums, from 1983's Confusion Is Sex to 2009's The Eternal. Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) is re-releasing the entire nine-album DGC/Geffen catalog – which ranges from 1990's Goo to 2006's Rather Ripped – remastered from the original stereo analog master tapes on high-grade vinyl. All vinyl album releases will also include an accompanying digital download card.
2005 saw Sonic Youth revisiting Japan, touring the boroughs of New York, rollicking at the first Arthurfest in L.A., and releasing the special deluxe edition of Goo. After one final gnarl out in Brazil with Flaming Lips, The Stooges and others Jim O'Rourke decided to concentrate full-time on his Japanese studies of language and film and SY was subsequently back to it's Kim-Thurston-Lee-Steve nucleus. Songs were written, Jim recommended engineer TJ Doherty and J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr) recommended mix engineer John Agnello and SY created the oddly titled Rather Ripped.
The whole deal was recorded in the waning hours of 2005 into the dawn sunshine of 2006 at the venerable Sear Sound studios in NYC's fading theatre district. Partially mixed there and at Hoboken, NJ's Water Music by the golden juice ear of John Agnello it exhibits SY in positive vibration mode. 12 songs of forward motion and harmonic/melodic surprise. Vocals shared by the frontline of Thurston, Kim and Lee with Steve groove gluing the rhythms into rock n roll infection.
They bust out off the sonic barn with "Reena" and "Incinerate," then contemplate holy war mind games with "Do You Believe in Rapture?" and keep cruising strong with track after track of risk-laden rock jammers until floating out with the curious "Or." This is a straight-up Sonic Youth field on fire, with a compact potency of rock 'n' roll enlightenment. Rather Ripped, indeed.