By refining the song-oriented breakthroughs of Sister
and developing their fascination with noise and alternate tunings, Sonic Youth
created a masterpiece of post-punk art rock with the double-album Daydream Nation
. Though the self-conscious sprawl of the album might appear self-indulgent on the surface, Daydream Nation
is powered by a sustained vision, one that encapsulates all of the group's quirks and strengths. Alternating between tense, hypnotic instrumental passages and furious noise explosions, the music demonstrates a range of emotions and textures, and in many ways, it's hard not to listen to the record as one long piece of shifting dynamics. But the songs themselves are remarkable, from the anti-anthem of "Teen Age Riot" and the punky "Silver Rocket" to the hazy drug dreams of "Providence" and the rolling waves of "Eric's Trip." Daydream Nation
demonstrates the extent to which noise and self-conscious avant art can be incorporated into rock, and the results are nothing short of stunning.