You heard it here first: Rather Ripped fits into Sonic Youth’s master summer plan. Eight of the veteran group’s last nine albums have been released in even-numbered years, and seven of those in the months of May or June. This isn’t a fluke … it’s perfect. Of course every SY record reveals a variety of new sounds while recalling old ones — the changes are usually scintillating new twists on changes they already invented. But with Ripped they not only sound content, but excited about having a sense of vitality into middle age. They’ve been together for 25 years, and hundreds of groups have ripped them off. But no one does Sonic Youth like Sonic Youth. From the caustic pop of “Sleepin’ Around” to the disarmingly sweet lullaby “Do You Believe in Rapture?” — a perfect entry point for new fans gained from SY’s recent Gilmore Girls appearance — the quartet’s foreveryoung persona and continuing knack for channeling the open road through their lengthy jams aligns them with the aesthetic of summer itself — freewheeling, top down, cold beer and an eternal lack of boundaries. (Well, for three months, anyway.) Barring Eddie Money’s traditional season opening appearance at DTE, is there any other act that so personifies a season?
Ben Blackwell writes about music for Metro Times . Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.