|Studio album by Sonic Youth|
|Producer||Sonic Youth, Martin Bisi|
|Sonic Youth chronology|
|Side two LP label|
|Singles from EVOL|
EVOL is the third studio album by American alternative rock band Sonic Youth, released in 1986 on SST Records, and recorded and mixed by Martin Bisi. The album cover features a picture of Lung Leg, a still taken from Submit to Me, a film by Richard Kern. The album is notable for being the first with new drummer Steve Shelley, replacing Bob Bert, and for showing signs of the band transitioning away from their noise-rock past and toward a greater rock sensibility. It was the first album by the band released on the SST label. By 1986, label founder Greg Ginn was anxious for SST to move away from its American hardcore roots, and signing Sonic Youth was an undeniably important step for the label, as well as for the band.
The record marks the second straight for the band in which it had worked with New York singer/performance artist Lydia Lunch. Lunch had shared vocal duties on Bad Moon Rising's "Death Valley '69" and on this record she co-wrote the tune "Marilyn Moore". "Shadow of a Doubt" takes a great part of its lyrical imagery from the Hitchcock film Strangers on a Train: "Met a stranger on a train/you'll kill him and I'll kill her/swear it wasn't meant to be".
Mike Watt played bass on the track "In the Kingdom #19". The band encouraged him to play it shortly after the fellow bandmember D. Boon of Minutemen died in a car crash. The song is ironically, also about a car crash.
On the vinyl format of the album, the time length for "Expressway to Yr. Skull" was indicated by the symbol for infinity; the final moment of the song featured a locked groove, making it theoretically endless. The CD format added a bonus track: the band's cover of the Kim Fowley tune "Bubblegum."
One single, a radio edit of "Star Power", was released from the album, with "Bubblegum" and an edited "Expressway to Yr. Skull" as B-sides.
All tracks written by Sonic Youth, except where indicated.