WASHING MACHINE features an unlisted instrumental as track 9. WASHING MACHINE returns Sonic Youth to the ringing electric guitars, clever songwriting and multi-layered arrangements that are the band's calling card. Not the casual acoustic sigh of its predecessor, EXPERIMENTAL JET SET, TRASH AND NO STAR, WASHING MACHINE's electricity gives Sonic Youth new life. With its sprawling guitar noise, "The Diamond Sea" recalls the GOO-era "Mote," proving that the crunching metallic waves that once made Sonic Youth so impressive are back. "Junkie's Promise" trembles with distortion and shimmering melodic phrases, while "Saucer-Like" brings the band's clamoring two-guitar dynamic back into focus. This is the band's triumph--their sound is easier to digest, and invites the listeners to re-examine their strengths. WASHING MACHINE is also a return to form in terms of songwriting. "Panty Lies" continues Kim Gordon's hipster manifesto series, giving us another glimpse of the world from her perspective--"oh how rude," she sneers, "at least I got your attention, square." "Skip Tracer" hints at Sonic Youth's position as baby-sitters for the next generation of alternative rockers, but isn't condescending. In fact, it's one of the best moments on the album. A description of a singer "shouting the poetic truths of high school journal takers" exemplifies the age gap between Sonic Youth and the new generation, but it doesn't alienate them. It's just such awareness that makes WASHING MACHINE work. Sonic Youth's respect for the scene they helped create will forever keep them on top of the indie heap.