The Destroyed Room

For fans of Sonic Youth this is a treasure trove of hard-to-finds encompassing the era between 1991 and 2003. Hand-picked by the band, the collection includes liner notes describing where, why and how each song was constructed. Most of the tracks were originally released only on vinyl—several as Japanese imports—and the album offers three previously unreleased pieces. The Destroyed Room highlights the side of SY that enjoys blurring the line between composition and improvisation. Compositions range from 10-minute-plus noise jams (“Fire Engine Dream”) to 20th century classical. Pop songs are not the focus here, but a few rocking numbers add to this worthwhile compilation, particularly “Kim’s Chords” and a tribute to Alice Cooper’s “Is It My Body,” culled from an early Sub Pop single. Massive SY fans should note that the double LP version (released on the band’s own Goofin’ label,) has two extra tracks. Overall, a real nice collection showcasing how a band that has played so long together can still kick out the jams and groove without the pretense of traditional song structures.