Thurston Moore - Chelsea's Kiss - Singles - Reviews - Soundblab

Thurston Moore - Chelsea's Kiss

by James Weiskittel Rating:10 Release Date:2016-10-07

Personal politics aside, one can’t help but cringe whenever an artist decides to throw their own (and often misinformed) opinion into the ring of debate via a musical statement.

History is full of examples where artists have contributed ill-advised, politically charged numbers in the name of a cause.  But a good song is a good song, and in the case of Thurston Moore’s new single Chelsea’s Kiss (written in support of Chelsea Manning - I’m not even touching this one, google is your guide here my friends) is freaking excellent.  

Cultivating cohesion from an otherwise disjointed array of sound, fuzz and noise, Chelsea’s Kiss is an eight-minute-plus excursion that touches upon what vintage Sonic Youth was best at: compulsive blasts of understated vocals and tuneful guitars amid the backdrop of a hypnotically vamping rhythm section.

The song opens with a hypnotic drone, buoyed by a snarly off-kilter guitar line that builds and builds until Moore’s perfectly understated vocal gives the otherwise chaotic chord progression some melodic ballast.  The song ebbs and flows with its largely instrumental format punctuated with bursts of vocals for maximum effect.

The B-side Sad Saturday launches amid a high pitched squeal before settling into a steady groove.  The song unravels with a more pensive perspective, with the line “you see them hanging out, they fall down laughing, sad saturday, beauty and dusk” perfectly summing up the songs reflective tone.  With both Chelsea’s Kiss and Sad Saturday combining to clock in at around the sixteen minute mark, this single is the type of ‘bang for your buck’ promotion that seems all but absent in today’s industry.

Regardless of what you’ve read over the past two years (and with both Moore and Manning there has been no shortage there), the bottom line here is the music on these two songs simply rocks.  More please.

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