For any lover of noise music, Sonic Youth was a band that broke boundaries and became larger than life. For their time together, Kim Gordon lead in crafting a sound that was decades ahead of everyone else. On her new solo album No Home Record, Gordon brings plenty of sensibility to her legendary noise tones and hits it out of the park from open to close. Boundless and unbroken, No Home Record is the album many artists have tried to make before and failed at achieving.
For starters, this is a nine song release where if you’ve followed the singles then you’ve already heard four of the tracks. It’s not a Sonic Youth record and it’s not a Body/Head release either, it’s all new. In many ways it’s a painting, except where most painting releases fail is in the brushstrokes. However the brushstrokes here are magnificently applied. The opener “Sketch Artist” is exactly what you’d expect from Gordon, though that’s the only song where that happens. The rest of the full length is a dizzying array of noise, electronica and eviscerate vocals. The shining points come in how Gordon ties the abstract and the mundane together to sculpt high art that isn’t above your head.
“Paprika Pony” has this wet and fevered approach, like the beginning of a dark dream where all that surrounds you burns to the ground. The arrangements of electronics and beats aren’t what you’re used to and that’s the point. Like stating “this is modern noise music,” the album plays out like nothing you’ve experienced before. Subtle prose intermingles with the brash. “Don’t Play It” is filled with amputations of sound and a pulsating beat that has an apocalyptic quality. “Hungry Baby” comes across like a scratch from an animal that some how feels good to the skin. The way that Gordon doesn’t repeat sequences is masterful and on a level few can reach. “Earthquake” has a ubiquitous nature, yet it’s far from ordinary. Though the song is the closest to what others may be doing in music today.
The biggest stand out here comes on “Cookie Butter.” Trip hop and techno tones, Gordon’s voice acting as the narration and searing squeals through the back of an amplifier all set the scene. The mixture of feedback and gurgled bass intersect that with beats hone in on a delicacy that isn’t played out in most music circles. Like much of the album where blown out drums, distorted strings and unincorporated electronica thrive, Gordon is making music like no one else. However in many ways, you knew that would be the case.
No Home Record is available to purchase physically from Matador Records. It can also be streamed on all platforms or purchased digitally in all online music stores. Kim Gordon is set to appear at Amoeba Records tonight in Hollywood, CA for an album signing.
Image Credits: Photo by Natalia Mantini.