"It's always a headache the size of a tow truck," sings Sonic Youth in "Marilyn Moore," a caustically convoluted love song that typifies the romantic viewpoint permeating the quartet's new "Evol" album. The lyric could apply equally to the band's abrasive, tolerance-testing performance Saturday at Safari Sam's in Huntington Beach. (The New Yorkers were also scheduled to play the Roxy on Sunday).
Occasionally the band's voluminous waves of pounding, screeching guitar chords were used effectively, transforming a straight-forward sentiment such as "I love her all the time" into a harrowing emotional journey without resolve or satisfaction.
The problem still facing the band, however, is that once the point is made, then what? The impact could be heightened substantially with a little musical and emotional contrast--surely somebody in the band must have had at least one satisfactory date worth singing about.