Walls Have Ears by Sonic Youth

Darkenin Heart

Derived from a trio of performances across the UK in 1985, Sonic Youth's lost bootleg Walls Have Ears emerges from a pivotal juncture in the band's evolution. Initially released as a 2LP set in 1986, the album eventually vanished, only to resurface now, officially approved by the band.

Within this collection, resonates a mix of old classic songs from the band's early catalog, alongside experimental nuances. These include renditions like a sped-up Jesus and Mary Chain recording, snippets from Madonna tapes, and vocal loops sourced directly from the soundboard.

The first two sides of the album are the most hard hitting, with the band's sound augmented by the addition of drummer Steve Shelley, being excellent on their earlier compositions. The latter part of the record focuses on a pre-Shelley performance from April 1985, supporting Nick Cave at London's Hammersmith Palais, marking one of the final live appearances featuring Bob Bert.

Above all, Walls Have Ears finds Sonic Youth in a vicious state, relatively early in their career, mere months after their sophomore album. It is a recording that stands as a crucial testament to the band's formative years. From there, their relentless progression is inspiring.

Sonic Youth
Cover artwork by Savage Pencil

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