Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving

Chelsea Light Moving - Chelsea Light Moving

Chelsea Light Moving – Chelsea Light Moving

Recognize the names, “Reena”, “Sacred Trickster”?  How about, “Teenage Riot”?  These are either foreign entities and don’t concern your musical palate vocabulary whatsoever, or perhaps they excite enormously and spark the very madness of why you started listening to music in the first place.  They are of course, “the hits”, if you will, for the late 80’s phenoms and still widely popular indie gods, Sonic Youth.  Even if Sonic Youth is teetering between 2 and 3 on your top ten lists, it’s not important now considering this article is about the band, Chelsea Light Moving.  I just wanted your musical glands to salivate as I prepare to tell you about Thurston Moore and crew’s newest project and how Sonic Youth is even relevant to this article and why or why not you should even listen to Chelsea Light Moving at all.

While reflecting on and listening to the sonic (pun intended) qualities coming from the still youthful (pun and irony intended) members of Chelsea Light Moving I can’t help but see visual imagery emerging in my mind; almost a scene being played out like a stop motion feature; ruckus but poignant. Moore, being the co-founder of Sonic Youth, now the ripe age of 55 relies heavily on his intuition paddling alongside his dynamic counterparts in, Samara Lubelski, John Moloney, and Keith Wood.  The band signed to Matador Records in 2012 and released Chelsea Light Moving in 2013.  Chelsea Light Moving as an album gathers from various influential origins mostly coined from Moore’s keen interest in countercultural traditions, New York underground music literature, and of course some subjects involving protests, no big deal, right?  In fact, Moore selected Chelsea Light Moving as the band’s name after reading of Philip Glass’ moving company in Will Hermes’ account of New York’s underground music scene in Love Goes To Buildings On Fire.

The first track, “heavenmetal”, is pungently swift and raw flickering with the light of the song’s main catchphrase, “be a warrior, and love life”.  Vocal and guitar tones on “Sleeping Where I Fall” sequester the senses simulating someone shredding a cloth in front of a microphone at times, while also flowing in and out of cloud-like clean guitar tones and clever drum licks.  You can definitely hear Sonic Youth-esque qualities but also even possibly late 80’s hardcore and punk mantras throughout the entire album. It is still as fierce and vigorous as Moore’s early SY recordings.  A pretty impressive feat for a gang of musicians who, in most people’s minds would seem out of their prime. Another literary device used by Moore, is beat poetry on the track “Mohawk”, which is a solid placement halfway through the album. This has the ability to enter the listener into another medium; something that Moore is well attuned to doing.

“Burroughs” is a catchy but visceral tune towards the end of the record.  With dissonant punky vibes, a pummeling of rhythms loop themselves but manage not to wear themselves out because of the dedicated stamina of the musician’s ability to unwrap themselves into the song.  The gritty solos and frantic distortion toys with the pivotal rhythm section dual with John Moloney’s excitable drum frills and Lubelski’s bass hammer.

The album’s closer, unlike its opener, is a bit more frequency-ridden, punk driven and political.  It is in fine Moore-fashion that his singing morphs into yelling, almost talking at times, and running parallel with the chugging noise rock.  As a whole this album evokes plenty of 80’s punk/hardcore styles, sex, drugs and rock and roll anthems and the always-welcomed unexpectedness that Moore seems to always supply us with.  Thurston Moore is still crankin’ at 55; an established rocker and no doubt an artist, he commandeers Chelsea Light Moving as a flawless vessel.  I have no reservations with this endeavor and if you find yourself peaking when you hear the key words: frenzy and high volume, then Chelsea Light Moving’s newest release is your new “so-called” jam.