Yes, they can. It all depends, I think, on which member of Sonic Youth is writing the lyrics. Some of the lyrics written by Lee Ranaldo are excellent. "Wish Fulfillment," to name only one, has beautiful lyrics.
But even the lyrics by Kim Gordon are far better than the mindless crap Oasis dares to blurt out. I mean, Standing on the shoulder of giants? They can’t even spell the titles of their albums correctly. Anything on that last album could qualify as worst song ever, if you’d ask me.