What does covering the new Thurston Moore instrumental album say about a music blog? That the blog is not located on Mars, or somewhere in the mountains of Afghanistan where music was illegal for many years, and where there was and probably still is no wifi? That this particular blog had scheduled a piece on it in advance of Moore’s Rough Trade show on Oct 26, which ended up selling out, although not instantaneously like it was expected to? Considering that tickets to the show are long gone, and that you can’t hear the album online, does it make any sense at all to relate what it sounds like? Consider this a distant early warning.
The good news is that Northern Spy is going to release it on vinyl next February, and it’s definitely worth owning if richly harsh, assaultive sonics captured in the best possible audio format are your thing. Titled Full Bleed, it’s the third recording by the duo of Moore and Sunburned Hand of the Man drummer John Moloney, this time under the monicker Caught on Tape.
Compared to the two’s previous collaborations, it’s less spazz-jazz freakout and more sludgily cohesive, if spiced with plenty of the expected tasty/abrasive out-of-focus buzz and screech. The opening track, Age Limit is skronk versus swoosh, falling brickwork sonics and a surprisingly tight scramble up to a jet-engine roar out. Nothing Glamorous is exactly as advertised, a guitar nor’easter finally blowing in a plate-glass door. The title track is a dirge centered around a buzzy blown-speaker drone, finally exploding in a shower of sparks.
An echo study, Self-Rule finally gives Moloney centerstage. Arguing with a Balloon pairs Moore’s U2/Edge pointillisms with Moloney’s matter-of-factly careening rumble and a predictable (see title) sonic joke. Dispute veers between something of a parody (Moore’s distaste for extreme metal is well known) and unexpectedly epic gravitas. The two raise some seriously Hendrixian guitar-on-fire blisters with Reverse Funeral, Moloney cast as the voice of reason as he generally is here. The album’s closest approximation of Sonic Youth is Unsupervised, with its romping rhythm balanced by echoey/creepy guitar pings. Likewise, the closing track, Robber Grandma hints at an anthemic sensibility before going off the rails. Fans of serious noise are going to have a field day with this.