Monday, October 7, 2013

Lee Ranaldo

I've got a review of Lee Ranaldo's Last Day On Earth today at Dusted.

Lee Ranaldo was always the “Mr. Inside” of Sonic Youth, as much an architect of the band’s blinding, sheets of feedback guitar sound as Thurston Moore, as much a visual arts synthesiac as Kim Gordon, as offhandedly knowledgeable about pop and experimental music as either of them, but not as quick to the spotlight. Here in his second album with the Dust – that’s fellow SY vet Steve Shelley, Alan Licht and, this time, Tim Lüntzel on bass – Ranaldo makes a quiet claim on that band’s legacy. He is comfortable enough with the sounds and effects we associate with Sonic Youth to replicate them without the intervening distance of reference, but he is also ready to push these sounds into other more conventionally tuneful byways. Who knew that anyone could sound so much like Sonic Youth, and also so much like R.E.M., in the same song? Who would have guessed that it would work as well as it does in “Lecce, Leaving” where a college rock jangle twines around expansive blasts of feedback, where anthemic choruses give way to amp-torturing frenzies?


I was kind of hoping I could do this one and Angel Olsen on the same day, so I would just piss off Bill Meyer once, but alas...

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