Track Review: Thurston Moore “Fri/End”

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    It”’s somewhat surprising that Thurston Moore hasn”’t released a proper solo album in almost thirteen years. He pops up on his lonesome to abuse guitars pretty frequently at various Japanese festivals and Brooklyn noise seminars, so you”’d think some of that individual experimentation would have resulted in at least a leaked demo or twelve. His last proper one man effort, 1995”’s Psychic Hearts, while not as aggressive as early firebrand Sonic Youth stuff like ””Kill Yr. Idols,”” possessed a certain teenage snarl. In comparison, the soon to be released Trees Outside the Academy sounds positively relaxed and thoroughly adult.

    ””Fri/End”” starts with a white-noise fake-out before settling in to the Beatles-esque acoustic strumming that dominates the rest of the record. [more:]Moore uses the breathy mid tempo vocal delivery that”’s been a staple of recent SY standouts like ””the Unmade Bed.”” His poetry has room for both a drug reference as obtuse as ””rainbow resin, sticky cyclone”” and a chorus unpretentious to the point of rhyming ””friend”” with ””end.”” Stately string arrangements co-exist with faint scraping squeals and Steve Shelley”’s gradually accelerating drums. Despite this very minor art damage, it”’s pretty, basic, and intimate. Moore isn”’t trying to impress anybody with this material. At this point he sure as shit doesn”’t need to.