ALBUM REVIEW: Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving

chelsea light moving album

Written for DIY

Everybody was surprised when Thurston Moore announced he was to eschew Sonic Youth for his own removal company (with black metal supergroup on the side). What’s less surprising is that he’s not particularly good at it. Why, on Chelsea Light Moving’s first job, they’ve loaded up their Transit van with Moore’s musical furniture – from the accessible latter-day Youth albums like ‘Rather Ripped’, to the entirely discordant noise of the ‘SYR’ series, along with some remainders of his quieter solo albums – and in transporting them to their new home, they’ve toppled over, broken and smashed in to each other.

‘Chelsea Light Moving’ may be no Sonic Youth album, but it’s definitely a Thurston Moore record – the rest of the band performed on his 2011 solo LP, ‘Demolished Thoughts’. Opener ‘Heavenmetal’ – besides being a brilliant pun – is of the warm-toned ilk of ‘Rather Ripped’, and the lighter side of noise rock is on show for much of it. It’s just rare to get a whole song of it, since the majority here is mired in a swamp of distortion and pleasingly obtuse lyricism (don’t worry – the former Mr. Kim Gordon hasn’t done a ‘Blood On The Tracks’ – it’s all abstract anxiety and anger).

In fact, tracks like ‘Groovy And Linda’ and ‘Lip’ have a surprising amount of unvarnished energy for a 54-year-old who’s been making music most of his life. Which isn’t to be patronising – ‘Chelsea Light Moving’ should feel like a tired hashing-over of sonic tropes, considering what a prolific career the front man’s had. But it doesn’t; it’s a lively, noisy semi-resurrection, even if ‘Alighted’ doesn’t earn its seven-minute running time quite as well as ‘The Sprawl’.

6/10

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