GE;TS (02.05): Sonic Youth – Malibu Gas Station
By Matt Gulbrandsen Thursday, 23 Jul 2009

“Good-Evil; The Soundtrack” is a weekly feature that showcases an editor’s song pick complete with a small write-up and a YouTube video or streaming version of the song. This week’s selection by Matsu is “Sonic Youth – Malibu Gas Station”.


Sonic Youth – Malibu Gas Station

So I finally got around to checking out the new Sonic Youth album – The Eternal – and haven’t put it down since. I must say, they have gotten better with age and are writing some of their best in recent years. The last 4 albums have been superb and this one is no slouch either. One track that stands out is “Malibu Gas Station”. It’s a scathing rant about Hollywood’s top skanks, their addiction to poor decisions, and America’s addiction to forever follow these train-wrecks in progress. Kim Gordon opens up the song with:

“Malibu Gas station
Pumps up the nation
A tough cross to bear
Oops no underwear”

This is clearly a jab at any of the Hiltons, Spears or Lohans of the world. The lyrics are witty, cynical and playful but that’s of course their style. This is only a sliver of what makes it a solid song for any mix tape but let’s get on to music.

It starts out with a dreamy yet eerie intro then suddenly awakens into a solid groove that Gordon sings over in her signature style. At the two minute mark, it goes into the waltz of to guitars and takes you on a fun ride. The guitars mesh together beautifully and foreshadow in a way before taking you back into the chorus. After more of the verse’s the song climaxes into a second joyride with a little tasteful Thurston Moore solo. This kind of precision and dynamic is the stuff that makes my pants tight. It all gets sucked down into a drain of swirling noise and eventually finds it’s way back into the verse again. Steve Shelly’s solid drumming coupled with John Agnellos’s tight production make it an enjoyable listen the whole way through.

It’s impressive to think after 15 albums and more than a handful of B-Sides, Sonic Youth can still turn out great music. Though this song and The Eternal may be a culmination of everything they’ve done and practiced their whole career span, it doesn’t get old and why should the revolutionaries have to revolutionize at this point. I highly recommend The Eternal if you enjoy this song. You won’t be disappointed (unless you’re totally anti-Youth). It may take a few listens to fully get into but it’s well worth your patience. Besides, aren’t those kinds of records seem to make their way up your top 10 list anyways?

As usual, bonus live video below. Though the quality is kinda crappy, it shows how tight they are playing live.


Sonic Youth – Malibu Gas Station (live)

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.