Chelsea-Light-Movingtif

Since (and before) the days when Sleater-Kinney sang “I wanna be your Thurston Moore”, the Sonic Youth founder has been the indie musician’s musician, an alternative guitar hero pushed onto a pedestal by his peers. Chelsea Light Moving is the latest vehicle for Moore’s undimmed creativity and the group’s eponymous debut is a record that offers few surprises. The opening two songs recall Pavement and Nirvana respectively; the latter, ‘Sleeping Where I Fall’, even sung with Cobain-esque cracked vocals. The album is shot through with passages of brain-shakingly low bass – rumbling, fiery and monolithically heavy – which give way to clean guitars and jangly melodies. And Moore, now in his mid-fifties, somehow still sounds like a stoned, sullen teenager; ‘Lip’ has the line “too fuckin’ bad” spat repeatedly and venomously over a petulantly simple anti-melody. The standout track here is ‘Mohawk’, where an almost post-rock-esque, one-note backdrop sits under Moore’s spoken-word prose. But songs as engaging as this are heavily outnumbered by those as interminably dull as ‘Frank O’Hara Hit’.

Read all of our new album reviews here, in this month’s Loud And Quiet