Thurston Moore has kept himself very busy since Sonic Youth disbanded in 2011, working with numerous small projects, playing with countless collaborators and running Ecstatic Peace. Rock n Roll Consciousness is his first properly distributed full length for a while, and flutters between avant-garde, no-wave and poetic pop. A warm and engrossing oddity.
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Ok here's the thing. Why has he not aged? Does a life spent skewing screwdrivers into guitars somehow help reverse the ageing process? Or has the fact that he shed his Sonic Youth bandmate Kim Gordon for a hip young replacement helped keep him young? Whatever he's doing Thurston Moore neither looks nor sounds anywhere near his fifty odd years.
This is his third post Sonic Youth solo offering and comprises of five lengthy tracks of distorted sonics and pastoral narratives. 11 minute opener 'Exalted' starts out lovely like some kind of 'Sister' era slow jam before a gruesomely awful guitar solo starts twiddling about as if Gary Moore had been invited to the sessions before thankfully the thing explodes into an intensely brilliant battering ram of sound ....eventually breaking out into song with Moore's distinctive vocals as warming as a cuddle on a bad day.
With so much modern music suffering from over production it's good to hear something that revels in the power of guitars....and drums. 'Cusp' has a brilliant opening of military drums and swiftly strummed guitars that shows that you still can do good things with old ingredients. It sounds rather like early Yo La Tengo which pleases me immensely. Despite the fact that Moore has recently admitted that he 'loves Adele', this is a record that showcases now old fashioned values like how guitars sound so good when they are tangled together, how a shit hot rhythm section can provide the kind of dynamism that a billion hours of studio programming can only dream at and how Moore still has the key to making creeping unrushed atmospheres.
I was never a massive Sonic Youth fan but this album has made me feel warm inside. It's not nostalgia (or maybe a bit). It's mostly because it flies in the face of the things I'm currently disliking about music. It simply does it's own thing...slowly. You are going to have to wait for it but you will be rewarded. Moore has access to tools you can trust and he knows how to use them.
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- Rock n Roll Consciousness by Thurston Moore
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