steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"Confuse Yr Idols: A Tribute to Sonic Youth" CD

Narnack Records

Genres: indie rock

Narnack Records
381 Broadway
4th Floor
Suite 3
NY, NY 10013

Nov 15 - 21 2004

It would be utterly pathetic to say that Sonic Youth were one of the most important rock bands of the modern era.  Such an introduction would simply be an insult to how influential Thurston Moore and co have been.  So I'll stifle this preamble in the interest of conciseness.

Confuse Yr Idols features twelve Sonic Youth bands by twelve (very) different bands, and even if you only recognize one band name on here (Elf Power), you should find plenty of music to excite you.

The disc kicks off with Racebannon's destructive assault, a desperately horrific reworking of "Death Valley '69" (from Bad Moon Rising, 1985).  Racebannon, who have released two albums on the Secretly Canadian label, were a perfect fit for the song - their brand of disturbing, breathy hardcore fits in with the track's tense moroseness.  Interestingly, Confuse Yr Idols ends with another version of "Death Valley 69", as performed by Saicobab (the new project of The Boredoms' Yoshimi) - it is much more experimental, and retains a certain catchiness without being particularly melodic.

On the less impressive end of things, we have Brystl's dry rehashing of "Shadow of a Doubt" (Evol, 1986) and a bland rendition of "Sugar Kane" (Dirty, 1992) by Parts & Labor .  Fortunately, highlights like New Grenada's grrl-rawker "Eric's Trip" (Daydream Nation, 1988), Tub Ring's outrageously elaborate "Kool Thing" (Goo, 1990), and Elf Power's predictably lovely "Kotton Krown" (Sister, 1987) make up for these deficiencies.

Confuse Yr Idols is a perfect offering from Narnack Records.  Tribute album audiences are often relegated to those who love the band in question, but this should appeal to fans and indifferents alike.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]