Review Summary: While Moore doesn’t do anything to substitute for Gordon’s absence in the music formula he’s not abandoning anytime soon, he sounds more suitably unhinged and grizzled than he has in some time.
While the divorce of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore may very well mean the conclusion of one of the most influential noise rock bands of all time, Sonic Youth, Moore has no intention of slowing down or putting a hold on his music pursuits. Hot on the heels of his ended relationship with Gordon, Moore has already formed another band Chelsea Light Moving, in which he can exercise the same mangled and distorted territory of loud feedback and raw noise straight out of the grungy ‘90s. However, it seems as though Moore doesn’t have plans much in the way of further exploring his ambitions on Chelsea Light Moving’s self-titled debut album.
Most of Chelsea Light Moving
sounds like a very organic jam session, and the dabbling in much more lurching sludge riffs and doom-flavored volumes manages to separate it from the dense and jarring production of Sonic Youth albums, even if the more rough textures keep the range from reaching the encompassing shoegaze-ish atmosphere that made Sonic Youth famous for marrying the hushed and harsh.
However, whether the new elements introduced be sludge or doom, these are merely variations, and not actual progressions upon Moore’s method of composing and making the style of music he knows. With Gordon not being a part of his process in making music like this, the songs on Chelsea Light Moving
stylistically suffer from having an at times unshakable feeling of there being a good portion of something missing. It’s perfectly fine for Moore to have carried on down the road he prefers without his ex-wife’s involvement, but he might have wanted to find a way to fill in the missing space to prevent this music from seeming like old ventures that are half empty.
Though still, even if Chelsea Light Moving
may not completely satisfy the hunger of fans, there’s still a lot to enjoy of what Moore is good at, which is creating winding compositions of menacingly grimy sound that fits his age, intertwined with lush breaks of ethereal tones that shows that however he does it, he’s still got it.