The Eternal

The Eternal is Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore’s tongue-in-cheek reference to his fascination with Scandinavian black metal, but it just as well could be a nod to his band’s longevity. Together 28 years, Sonic Youth’s return to an indie label (Matador) after a long stint with Geffen has the band showing zero signs of wear, and not the slightest need for artistic rejuvenation. The band’s last two releases have signaled a renaissance of expression highlighted by a looseness and directness that compliments its usual arty and more abstract forays. First and foremost, The Eternal is a rock album. “Sacred Trixter” opens the CD well with an atonal inhale/exhale of tweaked guitar strings that are overtaken by chugging chords and riotous riffing. “Antenna,” though, proves to be the band’s most devastating track here, laden with chiming harmonics, breathless buildups and clamorous guitars collapsing like concrete curtains. Moore’s whispered/sung words haunt and captivate with their cryptic playfulness long after the guitar feedback flutters and fades.