Thursday, March 14, 2013
So, let me get this out of the way first: Sonic Youth are broken up. Thurston and Kim are broken up. I really liked some Sonic Youth records- primarily Sister and Daydream Nation, but others as well. Yes, I also had a strange kind of romantic idealism about their marriage- the notion that a married couple could function as one, in Art and life, appealed to me. However, that is not why I like Chelsea Light Moving. While it is Thurston Moore's new band, and he still sounds like himself, both in his songwriting, and in his guitar playing, I think it'd be wrong to simply view this as a Sonic Youth offshoot. This is a noisey Arty punk band, and thus definitely in the same field as Sonic Youth, but there are major differences. First, the vibe, the feel, the tone, whatever you want to call it, is far more masculine, far more aggressive, far more rock than Sonic Youth. There are short bits that even get up to Unwound/Jesus Lizard/Cows territory. I think that is why the reviews are only mildly positive. People want it to be more balanced, like Sonic Youth was- but it's not. This is Thurston Moore in full bore "Rock God" mode. He's indulging himself, sure, but it's also not a solo album- it's about dudes jamming, and not so much in a Dave Matthews sense- in a garage band , in the garage sense. This is the core of rock music- guys, fueled by id, asserting themselves into the universe. Yes, women can do that, too, and yes, Samara Lubelski is female, but it's still mostly a guy's game. If that appeals to you, as it does to me, you might very well dig Chelsea Light Moving.