ALBUM REVIEW: Thurston Moore – Rock N Roll Consciousness

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The Sonic Youth guitar slinger and solo artist returns with a new album, his second with his current group which includes My Bloody Valentine’s Debbie Googe, Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and guitarist James Sedwards. Familiarity with those players on-stage and in-studio pays off in spades with this confident, relaxed and expansive new record.

Moore has always vacillated between skewed punk/art-pop and experimental soundscapes and here he finds an immersive and endlessly fascinating balance between both worlds – whether it’s billowy, dreamy textural passages, hypnotic Krautrock trances or screes of distortion. It all adds up to an invigorating widescreen listen that more than lives up to Moore’s consistently high quality artistic output.

Chris Familton

NEWS: Thurston Moore announces ‘Rock n Roll Consciousness’ LP

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Thurston Moore has been teasing his new album in interviews over the last few months and today we get the official announcement of Rock n Roll Conciousness, due for release on April 28th via Caroline Australia.

It’s a five track album (track listing below) which features Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine, Snowpony) bass, James Sedwards (Nøught, Chrome Hoof) guitar and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth, Crucifucks) drums and was produced by Paul Epworth (Adele, Paul McCartney, Glass Animals) at The Church studios in Crouch End, London and mixed by Randall Dunn (Marissa Nadler, Earth).

Here’s the video clip for the second track to appear from the LP, ‘Smoke Of Dreams’.

ALBUM TRACKLISTING:

  1. Exalted
  2. Cusp
  3. Turn On
  4. Smoke of Dreams
  5. Aphrodite

LIVE REVIEW: Thurston Moore @ Metro Theatre

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Thurston Moore, Gold Class @ Metro Theatre, Sydney (05/12/15)

When you have half of Sonic Youth and My Bloody Valentine’s bassist on stage one would expect the venue to be fairly brimming with indie rock fans right? It was a surprise then, and somewhat disappointing, to be greeted with a curtained off and reduced capacity theatre that still only made it to two thirds capacity.

IMG_4124Gold Class were back after recently supporting The Fall at the venue and they again impressed with their considered, dramatic and artful post-punk. Dressed all in white, singer Adam Curley barked out his lyrics in a sonorous voice while staring down the arriving audience with a detached cool. All the while the jagged and propulsive rhythms and slash and churn guitar cut equally impressive shapes around him.

After some scene-setting ambient atmospherics Thurston Moore, Debbie Googe, Steve Shelley and James Sedwards lurched into the primitive grind of Forevermore, the opening track from last year’s The Next Day. That album got a strong airing but Moore also previewed a couple of songs from the band’s next album that was recorded back in May. In the encore he also turned back the clock to his first solo album Psychic Hearts with Ono Soul and the quiet/loud rawness of Pretty Bad. Moore was still the uncomfortable frontman between songs but as soon as the music begins he shifted into a trance-like mode, swaying, flailing or just standing with eyes closed, immersed in the chaos or tranquility of the music. Guitarist Sedwards was a wonderful foil and equally adept and conjuring a myriad of hypnotic avant garde and classic rock sounds from his instrument. Behind them, Shelley and Googe were essential to the grounding and forward movement of the songs, workmanlike yet possessing seemingly infinite variations on rhythm and groove. In the end the attendance numbers mattered little as the band played with intensity and passion for the enthralled and tuned-in audience.

Chris Familton

LIVE REVIEW: Thurston Moore @ The Hi-Fi, Sydney (26/10/12)

by Chris Familton

Regardless of how straight Thurston Moore’s 2012 solo album sounds the sonic provocateur is always one step away from experimental music and the sculpting of sound rather than song. Though his set would prove to be more of the latter Moore balanced things with the support act, Marco Fusinato who is known as much for his art as his music. Armed with a guitar and a table of effects he set about filling the cavernous room with droning static and layered noise textures that ebbed and swelled with cloud-like grace. Music like Fusinato’s is both physical and cerebral stuff that requires an immersive environment and though there were attentive listeners it acted more as background music for beer and chatter.

Things got off to a rocky start with Moore needing three attempts at Lip due to his frustration with the sound and an inability to hear his guitar. Thankfully his annoyance didn’t affect the rest of the show as he and his new band Chelsea Light Moving settled into the set. Much of this year’s Demolished Thoughts record featured acoustic guitars so those songs that got aired took on a new electric light with the full band. The slow moody trails of Orchard Street were a wonderful contrast to the more visceral, jagged moments while Circulation is one the catchiest things Moore has written, certainly in his solo guise. The presence of the new band also meant we were treated to a bunch of new songs. Frank O’Hara Hit got the night back on track early with its repeating riffs that  evolved from quiet to loudwhile Burroughs was all knife-sharp tension and staggering rock n roll that harked back to Dirty-era Sonic Youth. Empires of Time was a tribute to Roky Erickson that was suitably imbued with spirit of crunching garage rock and was a great example of the balance between introspective and ecstatic rock the new band possesses. On the downside, The Hi-Fi was too big a venue, causing a sense of disconnect between band and audience. Oxford Art Factory, where Lee Ranaldo played to a similar sized crowd a week earlier would have been a better choice. That, and the the audience’s lack of familiarity with the newer songs made for a fairly low-key experience but still one with plenty of musical highlights.

this review was first published in Drum Media

VIDEO + MP3: Thurston Moore | Benediction + Circulation

Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore has a new Beck produced album coming out on May 24th via Matador titled Demolished Thoughts. His last solo record Trees Outside the Academy was a brilliant collection of intimate and mainly acoustic songs and going on this first listen with its hushed mood and swooning strings he may have exceeded the high standard he set on that release…

You can also grab a free MP3 of the track Circulation which is apparently about the menstruation as explained by Moore:

“Circulation is about menstrual cycles, menstruation blood, and the year 2012 when the Goddess of Destruction, the Goddess of Creation and the Goddess of Nurturing all come together and rise as Isis to bring the Earth to a new Matriarchy. We’ll of course be in bed, drinking wine, smoking cigarettes and playing scratchy jazz records on a turntable on the nightstand.”

MP3: Thurston Moore | Circulation