Sonic Youth’s second full-length LP Bad Moon Rising was originally released on Homestead and Blast First in 1985. The album is a fascinating examination of “the junction where hippie idealism [meets] the cold hard world,” says guitarist Lee Ranaldo, “where Woodstock [meets] Altamont—Death Valley, Charles Manson, Brian Wilson, musicians, murderers, heroes and villains.”
Its original eight-song tapestry of droning guitar feedback, distant clattering percussion, and sullen vocals, all held together with interstitial noise loops and shadowy haze, ambles through a long, dark night before the feverish “Death Valley ’69,” driven by runaway guitar riffs and a frantic Thurston Moore / Lydia Lunch vocal duet, pounds the capstone into place. Sonic Youth’s big leap forward from Confusion Is Sex and Kill Yr Idols “reflects the spirit of the time,” to quote All Music Guide. Bad Moon Rising views “American gothic through the glassy eyes of willful moonlit paranoia.”
Back in print on Goofin’ Records, this reissue includes bonus tracks “Flower” and “Halloween,” both from a 12- inch single of the same era. The sound collage morsels “Sa- tan Is Boring” and “Echo Canyon” are your cue to begin moving toward the exit and get out while you can.
Received an 8.1 rating from Pitchfork.