You’d think that considering my relatively recent explorations of noise, drone avant rock and experimental skull fuckery, I would have, by now, dabbled in the more out-there output of my favourite band of all time Sonic Youth. But alas until the last two weeks I’ve left their experimental recordings alone. The reason for this may be an earlier expereince I had with SYR1 which didn’t exactly light up my life at the time. Whatevey the reason I thought it time to start devling into the vast back catalogue of Sonic Youth related experimental music to see whether in fact I have been missing something.
My first stop is Sensitive/Lethal. Not exactly back catalogue but it was the only thing I could purchase quickly. I’ve always found Thurston Moore to be a difficult proposition as an artist mainly because I struggle to reconcile that the man who same up with the almighty Sister album is also responsible for the flatulent crap on Washing Machine. In fact it is for that reason I had stayed away from his earlier mainstream album Psychic Hearts and his more recent Trees Outside the Academy (if anyone want to give me their honest thoughts about Trees I’d really appreciate it). Trust between he and I is an issue, enough said. But fuck it I’m a huge, huge,huge fan of Carlos Giffoni and his No Fun label and my thinking was that I was on safe ground with Sensitive/Lethal because Giffoni couldn’t possibly release any shit on his label. I’m happy to say that my twisted logic was correct and Moore has in fact released a work of exceptional guitar based drone, intersecting with noise/experimental elements. I’d go a step further and say that it should (if there was in any justice in the world) be on a whole heap of those end of year best of lists that start cropping up about now. There are three tacks on Sensitive Lethal. The two main tracks are oddly enough Sensitive and Lethal. Both over the 20 minute mark. They are split by the extremely short by drone standards Lonesome. It’s difficult to explain the sound that Moore creates but it’s fair to say it’s less noisy than Giffoni and with the added bonus that I can actually figure out the instruments being played. In fact Lethal has some early guitar elements that reminded me a little of Sunn O))). Full of festive cheer this one.