- Released: September 26, 1995
- Label: Geffen Records
Rolling Stone - 10/19/95, p.1483.5 Stars (out of 5)
- "...a sardonic, wise-ass, indulgent, and totally captivating album..."
Spin - 12/95, pp.118-1196 (out of 10)
- "...their patented brand of scrappy avant-rock [is] simultaneously ahead of and behind the curve..."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/29/95-1/5/96, p.132Ranked #7
on EW's Top 10 Albums Of 1995.
Entertainment Weekly - 9/29/95, p.61
"...these songs unfold over even-tempered rhythms and guitars that linger rather than attack. A splatter of distortion may enter, but the effect is mostly languid and wonderfully hypnotic..." - Rating: A-
Melody Maker - 10/7/95, p.41
"...it's the sound of a band coming up with new noises....lovely for its delicate guitars and reflective, loose-laid ways, its tantalising hints of humankindness....10 tracks without a bad one..."
Village Voice (2/20/96) - Ranked #18
in Village Voice's 1995 Pazz & Jop Critics' Poll.
NME (Magazine) - 12/23-30/95, pp.22-23Ranked #31
in NME's 'Top 50 Albums Of the Year' for 1995.
NME (Magazine) - 9/30/95, p.538 (out of 10)
- "...it flows and has an uncompromising edge you'd hardly expect after all this time--a sense of chances taken, of instruments being swapped, of playfulness as well as seriousness....'The Diamond Sea'...is probably the best song Sonic Youth have ever written..."
- 2.Junkie's Promise
- 4.Washing Machine
- 6.Little Trouble Girl
- 7.No Queen Blues
- 8.Panty Lies
- 10.Skip Tracer
- 11.The Diamond Sea
WASHING MACHINE features an unlisted instrumental as track 9.
Sonic Youth: Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley.
Additional personnel: Kim Deal, Lorette Velvette, Melissa Dunn (background vocals).
Recorded at Easley Studios, Memphis, Tennessee; Mott Street & Greene Street Studios, New York, New York between January and May 1995.
Personnel: Melissa Dunn, Kim Deal, Lorette Velvette (vocals).
Audio Mixers: John Siket; Sonic Youth.
Recording information: Easley Recording Studios, Memphis, TN (01/1995-05/1995); Mott & Greene Street Studios, NY (01/1995-05/1995); Mott and Greene Street Studios, New York, NY (01/1995-05/1995).
Photographer: Lance Acord.
WASHING MACHINE returns Sonic Youth to the ringing electric guitars, clever songwriting and multi-layered arrangements that are the band's calling card. Not the casual acoustic sigh of its predecessor, EXPERIMENTAL JET SET, TRASH AND NO STAR, WASHING MACHINE's electricity gives Sonic Youth new life.
With its sprawling guitar noise, "The Diamond Sea" recalls the GOO-era "Mote," proving that the crunching metallic waves that once made Sonic Youth so impressive are back. "Junkie's Promise" trembles with distortion and shimmering melodic phrases, while "Saucer-Like" brings the band's clamoring two-guitar dynamic back into focus. This is the band's triumph--their sound is easier to digest, and invites the listeners to re-examine their strengths.
WASHING MACHINE is also a return to form in terms of songwriting. "Panty Lies" continues Kim Gordon's hipster manifesto series, giving us another glimpse of the world from her perspective--"oh how rude," she sneers, "at least I got your attention, square." "Skip Tracer" hints at Sonic Youth's position as baby-sitters for the next generation of alternative rockers, but isn't condescending. In fact, it's one of the best moments on the album. A description of a singer "shouting the poetic truths of high school journal takers" exemplifies the age gap between Sonic Youth and the new generation, but it doesn't alienate them. It's just such awareness that makes WASHING MACHINE work. Sonic Youth's respect for the scene they helped create will forever keep them on top of the indie heap.