EVOL is the third full-length studio album by the American alternative rock band Sonic Youth. Released in May 1986, EVOL was Sonic Youth’s first album on SST Records, and also the first album to feature then-new drummer Steve Shelley who had just replaced Bob Bert. In retrospective reviews, critics cite EVOL as marking Sonic Youth’s transition from their no wave roots toward a greater pop sensibility, while bassist Kim Gordon has referred to it as the band’s “goth record.” Pitchfork has praised the album, saying that EVOL "[was] where the seeds of greatness were sown", and placed the album 31st on their Top 100 Albums of the 1980s list, alongside Sonic Youth's next two albums, Sister and Daydream Nation, which ranked 14th and first, respectively.Wikipedia
If I could mould an unsuspecting youth into doing every dark desire I have, then this record would certainly be the gritty soundtrack that accompanied all of the sick things I would conjure up. It should act as a warning to anyone under the age of 16. Stay clear of me. I'm dangerous. But that's what you like about me, isn't it?
Nostalgic, listened to a lot of SY as a teenager, though not this album. Shoegaze-y and gothic at times (Marilyn Moore), melodic, driving and uplifting others (Madonna...). Love the interesting noises, distortions and discords.
What a turning point
hell yeah, love Sonic Youth I think I’ve listened to everything from Confusion Is Sex to Daydream Nation and while some albums are definitely better than others, I feel like there’s always something to appreciate in each one I’m excited to hear Goo, that looks like a really cool album, and of course I wanna hear their entire discography and of course EVOL gets a 10/10, some of my favorite songs from the whole discography are in there
Three albums in Sonic Youth were well on the way to EVOLving a sound utterly unique to Sonic Youth. The underlying outbursts of pop, whilst present, are buried way deeper in the mix here than on later records, it's very much more Black Flag less Madonna. To an extent, it makes perfect sense that the album was released on SST alongside the likes of Husker Du and Minutemen but the sheer avant-garde-ness at the centre of Sonic Youth makes this so much more EVOLved than any of the other post-hardcore Greg Ginn was releasing at the time. It's an album of screeching guitars and spoken word surrealism, it's dark and sinister, it's dense and difficult "anti-rock", it's walls of noise with the very occasional outbreak of beauty. It's very fucking good.
Noisy, raw, energetic and with a lot of depth.
Innovative, raw and hypnotics. A big step forward from previous album, Bad Moon Rising.
I like Sonic Youth. Groundbreaking for the Alternative scene.
It is dissonant, out of tune, and gritty, and I enjoy it for it. It is a little bit up its own ass, but in an endearing way. I like it. It is definitely something you need to be in the right mood/headspace for though.
Their first of many great albums. This is their poppiest of their albums through Dirty (haven't listened to any after), and so this makes for a great introduction to Sonic Youth. Immediately in the first few songs you get a taste of who the singers are, the level of experimentation, and what style of rock they're going for. This is a slow transition from the no-wave of the previous two albums, but they're still quite distinctively punkish, relying more on noise rock and experimental techniques to create haunting noises. It often feels like the vocals are trying to fight more space against the dissonance and grittiness. The album flows really well from track to track. This isn't a masterpiece, especially not when compared to Daydream Nation, but it's still an excellent album that I'll be listening to time and time again. I can't even list my favorite tracks because I love all of them so much, except maybe "In the Kingdom #19" but it's still an amazing track. I found the lengthy closing track to be a great way to finish the chaos that is this album.
I've only really heard Sonic Youth's hits, but this was... different. That being said, I loved how weird and avant-garde it was. Awesome.
One of those albums that’s always been present in my life and has obviously influenced a huge number of bands I love, but I haven’t given it the time I should. Listening to it now, it’s fantastic & I really should dive back into their catalogue.
Noisy, edgy, exciting
Makes me feel like a teenager again
This is a pretth good Sonic Youth album.
Pleasant surprise. I didn’t go into this expecting much but I really enjoyed it
4.5/5. Pretty epic, pretty wild. Great youth
I appreciate Sonic Youth but am more familiar with them from Daydream Nation onward. I like their experimentation and the use of multiple vocalists throughout the record. This earlier stuff is a bit rougher than what I'm used to with them and I find it to be a bit taxing as the record goes on. Sonic Youth is great but perhaps better in smaller doses like a track here and there on a mix/playlist. Looking forward to getting to their later albums on here.
Enjoyed this, not as much as say iron maiden but didn't hate it as much as most metal type bands. can't say a single song stood out.
Meh. It's just sloppy noise-rock. There are so many Sonic Youth albums on this list. I don't get what all the fuss is about.
evol, huh? im open to it.
“Homero Simpson arruinó mi puerco, Cypress Hill me robo la orquesta y Sonic Youth asalta mi hielera! ¡LARGO DE AHÍ NIÑOS!” No me parece el mejor disco de Sonic Youth ni de cerca (daydream nation seria ese). Pero es inegable la contribución al rock depresivo y oscuro. Un montón de notas sueltas y marcadas que sin dudas influenciaron a muchos de los artistas que mas escucho hoy en día (Reznor, te estoy mirando a vos). Cuando pensaba que la música no se podía poner más angustiante que con los Smashing Pumpkins, salta esto, por suerte menos adolescente y más… Relatable. El aspecto técnico es espectacular… Steve Shelley es un baterista del carajo y se nota muchísimo en el disco, 10 años atrás podría haber tocado la batería en Joy Division y cuadraba perfecto. La voz de Kim Gordon (que mujer) tiene un aire super precursor que siento que después fue super imitado sin nadie que se le pueda acercar. Creo que el mundo de la música es un poco mejor gracias a la existencia de este disco, por mas que no sea mi favorito de la banda. Podría decirse que las contribuciones que hizo son mas que lo que el disco aporta auditivamente cuando lo escuchás. No se si lo voy a volver a escuchar en un futuro cercano, no porque no me guste, sino por el impacto que tiene en mí, cada vez que lo escucho mi cerebro se vuelve un corto de David Lynch.
Larga vida a Sonic Youth? "Ruido" que sí me gusta. De acá conocía "Starpower", pero todo me gustó y especialmente "Madonna, Sean, and Me". Ruido darksss. 10/10
Wonderful. I’ve listened to many SY, but not this one for some reason.
If you've never listened to EVOL before, start with those lyrics excerpts: "My violence is the number Coming out of prayer Find it in the father Find it in a girl There's a thing in my memory Holding on for dear life With a feeling of secrets Beating up under my flesh My tongue is tied I'm sleeping nights awake Tom Violence is a dream Coming out of a girl" "Kiss me Kiss me In the shadow of Kiss me in the shadow of a doubt" "Close my eyes and think of you Everything turns black to blue Starpower, starpower Starpower over me" "We're gonna kill the California girls We're gonna fire the exploding load In the milkmaid maidenhead We're gonna find the meaning of feeling good And we're going to stay there As long as we think we should Mystery train Three way plane Expressway... to your skull" Now imagine the sort of music that could go with all those weird-yet-evocative lyrics. You'd need something that can convey all the conflicts and sexual tension and innocent arrogance and arrogant innocence and sheer elatedness and muted rage of your teenage years. You'd need a perfect mix of dream pop and indie-rock and terror noise and goth and bubblegum pop. You'd need an LP that literally never ends, with the last groove on the record being a locked one, circling and circling all over again on itself with its low rumbling maelstrom gurgling all the way to eternity. Teenagers always think they're immortal, don't they? You'd need Sonic Youth's first masterpiece. Number of albums left to review or just listen to: 812 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory: 102 (including this one) Albums from the list I *might* include in mine later on: 46 Albums from the list I will certainly *not* include in mine (many others are more important): 41
This album is Sonic Youth’s on ramp to greatness
notes - sonic youth’s third album - post punk/alternative rock - detuned atonal guitars, talk-singing from both singers - unconventional song structures - i like a lot of other sonic youth stuff, never heard this album before but this album really did it for me - all the songs are super satisfying and unexpected - lots of noise and experimentation that i really enjoyed fav - shadow of a doubt - this song is really something special, wow least fav - bubblegum - it’s a cover, doesnt quite fit 5/5 - i knew going in that i would really like it but this really blew me away
This is already a regular listen for me. Just perfect.
Need to get into more sonic youth
I loved this but only because I was in the mood to get freaked out.
This album sounds fresh, as if it could have been released yesterday. The themes and anxiety feel contemporary still, even apt for the current moment.
Some good tracks on here, but overall, it's not my sound.
Much better and more raw than Daydream Nation, and a magnificent composition rocking through
This album is dope. Way more low-key and less scream-y than I expected it to be. Its nervous energy matches my own fevered work pitch.
Sort of strange. Sounds like a mix of alternative rock and dark ambient music. I liked it.
Noisy, tense post-punk indie rock. While it isn't their masterpiece that would come 2 years later, you do hear many of the foundations of that album being explored and distilled. Energetic, often angry and yet melodic vocals and hooks being buried beneath walls of sound. It's no wonder Sonic Youth often distills that gap between Black Flag and all the 90s indie rock bands that followed suit in my mind. They angrily and yet with a delicate pop touch thrashed the path forward.
Este disco ni en pedo es para cuando estas bajón porque te tiras abajo del bondi. NO PARA CUANDO ESTAMOS EN UN CONFINAMIENTO DE UNA PANDEMIA. pero me gusta la banda 4 efes
Actually pretty chill to listen to as I worked
A raucous at times dissonant soundscape, I love it, but wouldn't put it above some other cleaner more tightly put together music
Not one of their best but its Sonic Youth so of course its good
Wow. This album has almost as many high points as SHACK has nonced kids today. He has a different meaning for sonic youth.
this is by no means one of the best sonic youth albums, however its infinitely better than 50% of this list.
Not as memorable as Goo, but pretty solid. 7/10
Evol is a milestone in the band's history, although the album is less profound and disturbing and more traditional rock, the sound contains the essence of two decades of music of moral decay. (7/10) FT: Shadow of a Doubt
My second album from Sonic Youth, and overall I think I think I might like it better than 'Goo,' which is probably a controversial statement. It's some solid punk rock music that's not obnoxious or too in your face. 'Goo' was very different, and I can't help but compare this album to it. I liked a lot of the softer lyrical stuff on this album.
Dirgey in the best possible way… they’re albums really do take you on a journey. Melody and song smithery aren’t lacking either. Just what you’d expect from SY!
The more I listen to Sonic Youth, the more I don't understand what Sonic Youth is. Are they a band? Is this all just a figment of my imagination? Did the Moon landing happen or was it all just gremlinoid CGI? Some songs on this album sound like Slowdive's Souvlaki, some remind me of crazy-ass post rock like GY!BE or Swans (Sidenote, I'm not a big fan of post-rock, but there's a serious lack of it on this list in general.. like, not even "Soundtracks for the Blind", really?) and then there's some random pop punk songs thrown in for good measure. It's crazy, it's kooky, dare I say it, it even may be a little bit bonkers. Four stars out of five. One star for each gremlin.
Huikeeta ja takuuvarmaa SY-tunnelmaa taas. Ei bändin ihan parhaita, mutta täpärä 4 silti.
Kinda grimy and noisy, mostly in a good way. I can definitely enjoy this when I'm in the right mood for it.
Slips in with a characteristic droning sound though I've never heard it before. Immediately like the downbeat vibes. Second track lightens up and then Kim Gordon starts whispering to me. I feel like I could listen to her voice in conversation for about 100 years. Everything about it I like, even when she's screaming or just falling apart a la, "Can I have the car keys.. I wanna go for a ride" on Drive which is an absolute turn it up to 11 favorite from the album Dirty. Shadow of a Doubt is sweet with just a little hint of chaos. Starpower is really good. Gordon is kind of singing around you, not to you on this one. In The Kingdom sounds like a less-deep-fried Southern Culture on the Skids. A big bad voodoo Cadillac headed right for the edge of the cliff and we're just gonna go ahead and keep the gas all the f*****g way down. Secret Girl is like a haunted house and someone is playing a toy piano in the attic. You're not gonna hear this kind of music anywhere else but in a SY album. Just so singular and authentic. Minor chords, crisp high hat, far away singing, heavy heavy guitars, and all manner of unexpected chaos. Can't be a 5, but I absolutely love it. Gorgeous.
Cool sound, I'm digging deeper into them.
Pretty great, bracing, some sounds like Pink Floyd, some like Bowie, all entertaining.
Very good, and very odd. If I was born ten years earlier, I would probably have loved this band growing up, but as it is I love the (many, many) bands they influenced.
Not my favorite Sonic Youth album by a stretch, but it's definitely an interesting listen with some bangers. 3.5 rounded up because I'm biased.
Didn’t know them and liked how experimenting their music feels
Not my preferred style, but great album and ahead of it's time
i don't know it this is a thing, but to me this is drone-rock personified. Everything about drones....the vocals (especially Kim Gordon's), the guitars, the arrangements. It all proceeds in a beautiful, compelling, noisy, disonnant drone that just fits together and works. It doesn't have that one signature track like Goo and Daydream nation and even Sister has have but its a compelling and homogonous listen that pulls the listener in. 4 stars
I really like the previous albums, especially Bad Moon Rising, but this is the first album that really hinted at the greatness to come.
One of the less challenging Sonic Youth albums, that's for sure!
Havent listened to this one in years, great weird album
U samo 2-3 godine, postali su mi jedan od neizbježnih, najdražih i najkvalitetnijih bendova. Definitivno u top 3. Cijela diskografija se sluša, svaki drugi dan mi se neki drugi album sluša. Ovo su zadnji otkucaji tog starog zvuka no wave/post-punk/noise rocka kojeg su se držali u početku. Onda su prešli na lakšiji zvuk, ali opet...ima to svoju priču, valja samo poslušati. Najbolje poslušati po noći, jer ima misteriozan, atmosferičan i mračan ambijent koji je odlično odrađen. Nije u top 5? Ja bar mislim, morao bih se nekako malo zbrojiti i oduzeti i ponovno proći diskografiju <3.
Too compressed to be grand, the sound tempts me to call Sonic Youth's post-punk less than perfectly pessimistic. But if anything the band goes too dark, if not in the ways I expected. Fearsome breadth on display, despite the palette and the length.
The noisy (beautiful) mess that was before that part of Sonic Youth's music went from art rock to what was to become the main stream.
- Listened to Sonic Youth albums before, just not this one - Should've gone further into their discog years ago, this is great - Fav songs: Starpower, Death to our Friends; Madonna, Sean and Me
(and to my ears thoroughly distinctive original) and surprisingly resonant sound and use of strings and percussion, (there is an Eastern influence somehow?) and whatever it's called when harmonies echoes and overlap happily. Needs a room, and the echo of a student share house without furniture, loose drapes, incense, and ....
sonic youth!!! but i like this less than i thought i would
God the 1980s were a weird decade for music. It's like everything was happening all at once, and for all the amazing things that were happening in the foreground, you also have bands like Sonic Youth. The first thing this reminded me of was Slanted and Enchanted by Pavement, which came out 6 years after this album. This album is more introspective and darker, though. I feel like there is something about Sonic Youth that never quite translates from their live shows to their albums, though. I feel like I should like these albums more, but it ultimately feels like there isn't anything for me to sink my teeth into. I think what I really need is an instrumental Sonic Youth album. I feel like that is where they really shine, and the vocals kind of distract from their instrumentals on a lot of songs. 3/5
not as good as goo, but not bad
Don't know much Sonic Youth, but I enjoy the style. I'm not sure this is their finest work though, some of it doesn't do much for me. Love the lofi/feedback/dissonance parts of it, but overall there aren't any tracks on here that are ones I'd wanna go back to listen, except maybe "Shadow of a Doubt".
When I thought this was from 1996 I thought it was lame. When I realized it was *86* that changed my perspective. Still, I wasn’t doing the drugs these guys were doing, so it didn’t really jive with me
They'll guard your watercooler real good
I think this is one of those bands that what you hear on the radio is probably enough.
Not their best like but decent
Dit moet ik toch echt op mijn gemak luisteren, want er gebeurt zoveel op deze plaat. Nooit echt goed verdiept in deze band, dus kan er nog niet veel over zeggen. Wat er van mee kreeg, klonk iig spannend.
its not bad
Still too intense.
Ich weiß noch wie neugierig ich auf diese Band war, von der ich nur das T-Shirt kannte. Der geheimnisvolle Gesang und die noisig-schrabbeligen Klänge, dabei trotzdem so harmonisch und eingängig. Hör ich gerne mal allein über Kopfhörer. Neben Hits wie Starpower sind allerdings auch ein paar anstrengende Lieder dabei.
Mag ich allein schon für den Gastauftritt bei den Gilmore Girls.
Simpático. Puede ser que no haya estado del humor suficiente para poder apreciarlo. Shadow Of A Doubt fue lo que me quedó más grabado. Lo voy a volver a escuchar en otro momento.
it's alright. Kinda bleak.
quite dark, quite good. How many sonic youth albums are on this thing....
Better than the other Sonic Youth album I listened to. Still not quite my thing.
I think I liked Goo better, not a fan of this one, it felt pretty monochrome to me and I wasn't listening to the lyrics too close