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Demolished Thoughts
Thurston Moore Demolished Thoughts
Released 20 May 2011
Producer Beck Hansen
Label Matador
Length 46:47
Genre Rock, alternative
Website sonicyouth.com

The instigator of indie and the Godfather of grunge; Thurston Moore really needs no introduction. In his time the Sonic Youth frontman has seen more musical fads come and go than I’m sure he’d care to remember. Yet, like his style or not, he has always remained musically honourable and painfully cool.

His latest offering is a reflective nine-song collection of semi-acoustic efforts that are only occasionally reminiscent of Sonic Youth’s abrasiveness. Yet they remain entirely “Thurston” in both vocal delivery and guitar chops.

Unfortunately from start to finish this album really strikes you as little more than a cleanly produced collection of home recordings. There is nothing wrong with that per se, but none of the nine songs contains enough punch, depth or catchiness to stay with you. The album therefore feels like a train slowly passing through a station. You expect it to stop any minute and let you on, then before you know it, you’re watching its caboose pull away into the distance and you’re wondering what happened.

Fans of Sonic Youth and of Moore’s (and there are plenty of those) could no doubt enjoy this record, particularly the interplay between the guitar and string section which is prominent in the opening four songs. 'Blood Never Lies' is possibly the album’s most complete track, yet even here any hooks are brief and come from minor, fleeting riffs.

The quiet and reflective nature of this record recalls to me similar work by indie stalwart Lou Barlow (of Sebadoh fame). His releases would often appear to serve those who are already comfortably sitting on the bandwagon. There appears to be no interest, or room for any new recruits.

This would seem to be true of Demolished Thoughts. However where Barlow would (in my opinion) have the advantage would be in the melodies. Here Moore’s low-octave delivery rarely acts as more than musical accompaniment, leaving some of the longer songs feeling a bit ragged and aimless.

There is little to dislike about the album. The worst thing is that there is also so little to truly like about it. It seems odd that a man who was instrumental in shaping some of the most polarising sounds in modern music could produce an album that fails to register a strong response in any direction...But there you go! My recommendation is for fans only!

- D. Egan