Daydream Nation (DGC/Geffen Records, 1988) is the album most representative of Sonic Youth, the band’s free noise–art-rock’s most important at the end of last century. Masters of feedback, distortion, and cutting-edge critical, faithful to their proposal from their first album (Confusion is Sex, 1983), these four new yorkers created an unmistakable style, derived both from post-punk (Television, The Patti Smith Group, Iggy & The Stooges), as well as the music of The Velvet Underground and Neil Young in its most dense and noisy.
With Daydream Nation –their fifth incursion record label, the quartet produced a masterpiece, a double album (simple compact) that is like a bomb, challenging and always on the verge of exploding. Through the alternation of tense guitarreos, distressing voices, rhythms, intense, long instrumental passages of trend in hypnotic and sudden explosions raging, the fourteen compositions that give shape and content to this unique work possess a high range of emotional intensity.
The opposite of the punk bands, which were counting on the chaos and destruction, Sonic Youth tends to deconstruction intelligent music. This is very clear in this album that, paradoxically, is at the same time conceptual and anticonceptual. Conceptual, because of their tendency thematic unifying; anticonceptual because the group’s music is like a centrifugal force that refuses to concentrate on a single point.
Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo were in Daydream Nation, a working guitar that would mark it permanently, as with a red-hot iron, the future development of the band. The same can be said of the vocalizations of the own Moore and bassist Kim Gordon, as well as the battery always accurate Steve Shelley.
Only in appearance chaotic and atonal, the recording transits by compositions of disconcerting power. “Teen Age Riot”, “Silver Rocket”, “The Sprawl”, “Total Trash”, “Kissability”, or the trilogy formed by “The Wonder”, “Hyperstation”, and “Elimination Jr.” are like mines planted in open ground, waiting to hear the step on and fly through the air to pieces.
Daydream Nation came to demonstrate the art and the punk rock also they could combine and Sonic Youth was instructed to make it clear by means of his recordings and his performances in concert, but above all to create a sound that has been imitated around the world and defined an entire school: the noise, the distortion and the musical notes tainted as a means of artistic expression in a statement of difficult translation: the school of the free–noise art rock.