Body /Head – Coming Apart (CD Matador)
First post Sonic Youth release from Kim Gordon in collaboration here with Bill Nace for their Body /Head project.
While Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo have gone in a more straight ahead song direction for their new projects Body/Head seems to take those more avant garde moments that both Sonic Youth and Free Kitten explored a lot in their early days on albums like Bad Moon Rising and Unboxed and develop those into something new.
This is not an easy listening album by any means and is one that slowly reveals itself from repeated listens. The pieces are for the most part guitar based (with perhaps some bass) and vocals. Rhythm is not present from any percussive instruments and just makes an appearance where necessary in heavier more rock based riffs. But the tracks as a whole are more random guitar noise (not noise necessarily in volume but more in their use as texture rather than melody or chord progressions) than structured riffs with noticeable elements creeping from Sonic Youth with the loose string sound (pioneered perhaps by SY or Glen Branca?) being noticeably prominent on tracks such as Last Mistress and the untitled fifth track.
Vocal duties are all handled by Kim with the delivery we’re all familiar with from her vocal duties on SY songs. If you were to take Expressway to Your Skull or Pacific Coast Highway and place them on this album they wouldn’t sound that out of place, maybe just more listener friendly.
The pieces are apparently improvised which in itself can lead to problems for the listener in that you’re hearing something raw and unpolished but also perhaps more genuine to the moment it was created. For the pieces and sounds that are on this album the improvisation approach works well and for a debut release it’s pretty impressive. DB.