There has been a lot of Thurston Moore in the music news lately from calling people who make Black Metal “pussies” to the realisation of how he will be perceived in the impending Kim Gordon memoir Girl In A Band. So it’s good to get away from those distractions and back to the music for Moore’s fourth solo album. The product of a prolific creator, ‘The Best Day’ is the closest representation you will find from Moore’s solo output to a Sonic Youth album, certainly in their twilight years.
For this album, Moore enlisted former Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, James Sedwards of Nought and My Bloody Valentine’s Debbie Googe on bass. It’s the latter’s bass that provides ‘The Best Day’ with much of it’s propulsion. Title track The Best Day burns with intent as the electric guitar growls and is injected with blasts of urgent bass.
Forevermore is near twelve minutes long and yet it never meanders or lets your attention be diverted. Generating memorable vocal melodies has never been Moore’s strong point and ‘The Best Day’ is no different. Moore compensates in other ways, creating an undulating momentum that peaks and dips like on tightly coiled opener Speak To The Wild.
Moore has never been known to conform to the standard verse/chorus/verse structure of songs. Detonation typifies this approach. It has no obvious hook but after repeat listens it won’t let your attention drift as it quickens and intensifies.
Grace Lake recalls some of Sonic Youth’s finer instrumental moments producing a gamut of guitar playing styles and sounds (riffs, plucking and drone) that will appeal to fans yearning for more Sonic Youth. The only weak points on ‘The Best Day’ are Tape and Vocabularies which are not as focused as everything else on the album.
‘The Best Day’ isn’t as heavy as last years’ Chelsea Light Moving album but it’s a good deal more direct and purposeful than Moore’s previous solo albums. Though ‘The Best Day’ is missing some of the kinetic spark that ignited Moore’s best work in Sonic Youth, it retains enough trademark free-wheeling exploration and energy to make it a worthy entry in his career.