Sonic Youth - Destroyed Room: B-Sides and Rarities 12 inch
Out of Stock
Assembling a "non-album" collection can be tricky. It requires songs interesting enough to be worth hearing, yet not so interesting that you wonder why they were ever discarded. It's even trickier with a group like Sonic Youth, who've created so many outlets for their unofficial adventures-- solo records, collaborations, the self-released SYR series-- that a disc of leftovers seems redundant. Maybe that's why the band went 25 years without releasing one.
Despite that inexperience, The Destroyed Room plays the role of non-album well. Each track offers something worthwhile, yet none raises any question as to why it ended up here. That's no surprise, as these four have always judged their own material smartly. Most of their spirited also-rans-- from early toss-offs like the grimy "You Pose You Lose" and the pseudo-rap "Master Dik" to loose covers of Mudhoney's "Touch Me I'm Sick" and the New York Dolls' "Personality Crisis"-- have worked best as a stand-alone novelties.
What is surprising is the record's variety. The phrase "Sonic Youth outtake" immediately conjures an instrumental jam-- a nascent idea that might eventually hatch a full song, like the sketches on SYR2 that became tracks on A Thousand Leaves. About half of this album falls into that category, but there are also squiggly electronics, low-key folk, and rough blues-- styles that have rarely emerged on previous SY-related releases.