Thurston Moore - Rock n Roll Consciousness
Noise auteur and the post punk renaissance man Thurston Moore releases his fifth “straightforward” rock solo album with the line up of 2014’s The Best Day: Deb Goodge (My Bloody Valentine), James Sedwards (Nøught), and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth). Along with production from the legendary Paul Epworth, they craft Thurston’s most accessible post Sonic Youth work to date. However, don't fear art rock fans, Rock n Roll Consciousness still has plenty of the avant-garde to challenge the more puritanical fans of Thurston’s brand of noise terrorism.
Clocking in at 45 minutes, but over a mere five tracks, Rock n Roll Consciousness still manages to be a veritable smorgasbord of influences and styles that have defined Thurston’s career while never feeling like a cut and paste job. Like the Geffen-era Sonic Youth Rock n Roll Consciousness pushes the poppier side of the Nu-wave movement and infuses it with 60s Acid Rock, Prog, Metal, Jazz, and Punk, often in the same song. Incorporating lyrics provided by poet Radio Radieux, the album is a tripped out journey through mysticism, goddesses, prophets, and the cosmos. Highlights include opener 'Exalted', a sprawling 12 minute opus starting with intricate fragility before mutating into a full on prog rock wig out, 'Cusp'’s insistent march with a hefty dollop of My Bloody Valentine, and the 'Gimme Danger'-esque 'Smoke of Dreams' which mutates into a time travelling sonic beat poem about the New York art scene he used to know.
This album ticks all the boxes for a Thurston fan; chock full of abstract lyrics, alternative tunings, and sonic wig-outs. But it doesn’t outstay its welcome. For the uninitiated, outside of the mid era Sonic Youth albums, you could do much worse than choose Rock n Roll Consciousness as your starting point…. Just make sure you work your way up slowly to the SYR albums.