The band experienced relative commercial success and critical acclaim throughout their existence, continuing partly into the new millennium, including signing to major label DGC in 1990 and headlining the 1995 Lollapalooza festival. Sonic Youth have been praised for having "redefined what rock guitar could do", using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tunings and preparing guitars with objects like drum sticks and screwdrivers to alter the instruments' timbre. The band are considered to be a pivotal influence on the alternative rock and indie rock movements.
In 2011, Ranaldo announced that the band was "ending for a while", following the separation of Moore and Gordon. Gordon later stated that it is highly unlikely the band will reform, ending Sonic Youth after 30 years.
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