Penk wrote:And this is one band who do not know how to write a song.
I'm going to be an ass for a second and inquire about this line of thinking. I have seen it so much around these parts as of late that I am really starting to question the validity of it.
Has music always been about songcraft? And wasn't Sonic Youth basically against conventional songcraft from the start? And isn't noise just fucking wonderful?
To me that would be a dangerous paradigm inside it's own paradigm to have to think this way. Why trap yourself into this horribe (and if I may, fucked up) logic that really has me wondering why you would bother carrying on living or listen to music.
It's not that simple, though, really. I don't mind if a bandare avant-garde or don't write 'proper' songs, provided they do it well. I like it sometimes. But Sonic Youth have never convinced. If they were always against conventional songcraft, why are so many of their songs just dull, unimaginative riffs and melodies that don't go anywhere? No amount of feedback and squall can disguise the fact that at heart they're just not very talented writers.
When they really go off on a tangent or avoid convention completely, it sounds tokenistic, as if they're doing it because that's what they do, rather than being something involving. It's like they're sight-reading from a textbook on experimental rock.
Even if they were the first band to do that, that doesn't necessarily mean they were any good, does it? Bands like Yo La Tengo or even My Bloody Valentine took the essential template, and refined, developed and improved it, adding genuine talent and intelligence to the mix rather than blundering on, getting by on pose and their own conviction that what they were doing was radical and important. Which it wasn't: tedious riffing, lazy stabs at songs and a lot of rock star posturing don't add up to a great, original band.
Davey has it right. They don't get any of the things that are great about music. Joy, energy, fun, soul, any of it. They're just dull chancers who hit upon a formula and didn't know what to do with it.