Recalling the no wave movement of the late '70s, the self-titled debut of New York City's Blonde Redhead is a glorious piece of dense, art-damaged noise, with songs that move from drifting melodicism to raging aural assaults in the course of a few measures. Taking their cues most directly from Sonic Youth (Steve Shelley produced the album), Blonde Redhead revel in noise and create vast sonic landscapes out of which songs naturally emerge. The focus here tends to be on atmospherics, and yet there is never the feeling of utter chaos; instead, the album functions like a work of controlled mayhem, referencing a wide range of musical approaches. The opening track, "I Don't Want U," starts off like jazz-rock, building momentum until it erupts in a blast of indie rock noise, anchored throughout by a steadily rolling bassline. "Snippet"'s quite-loud-quiet dynamics are offset by the driving rock of "Mama Cita," and the album's closer, "Girl Boy," comes across like delirious dream pop. The entire album is drenched in dense, multilayered feedback, with a rhythm section that works to keep the guitars in control, underpinning the attack. Blonde Redhead have created a great record, especially for fans of experimental rock: difficult, noisy, and exhilarating.
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AllMusic Review by Brandon Gentry