NYC Ghosts & Flowers, the band’s 11th studio album, represented a slight stylistic departure, mainly as a creative reaction to the theft of their instruments while on tour the summer before. Instead of using the gear they were intimately familiar with, they unearthed instruments in their studio they hadn’t used in years, resulting in a flood of new inspiration. Salon insisted the album “has a gloomy, unaccommodating tenacity that’s hard to shake,” while Chicago Tribune critic Greg Kot raved, “These noise-rock renegades are once again happily viewing their guitars as hunks of wood, wire and infinite possibility… No rock band makes the avant-garde sound quite this tactile and sensual.” Sonic Youth formed in 1981. Founding members Thurston Moore (guitar, vocals), Kim Gordon (bass guitar, vocals, guitar) and Lee Ranaldo (guitar, vocals) remained together for the entire history of the band, while Steve Shelley (drums) followed a series of short-term drummers in 1985, and rounded out the core line-up. In their early career Sonic Youth were associated with the no wave art and music scene in New York City. Part of the first wave of American noise rock groups, the band carried out their interpretation of the hardcore punk ethos throughout the evolving American underground that focused more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than it’s specific sound.