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Thurston Moore - Flipped Out Bride

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Artist: Thurston Moore

Album: Flipped Out Bride

Label: Blossoming Noise

Review date: Jan. 22, 2007

Considering how rapidly most musical innovators burn out and disappear, Sonic Youth’s longevity is remarkable. But it’s not a hard thing to understand. SY simply never stopped growing up in public. The band has grown more conservative vis-à-vis its major-label offerings, as so many haters have taken so much glee in pointing out for the last, oh, 20 years or so. But in their abundant down-time, Steve, Kim, Lee and (particularly) Thurston have indulged in new forms, forums and concepts, and have gone far, far out of their way to facilitate the underground arts, whether through publishing, distro, or their frequent limited-run improvised works. Whether or not Moore always knows what he’s doing, he takes on every project with enviable enthusiasm and unmistakable personality. Compared to anyone on his short, short list of contemporaries, Moore gets the most out of his money.

Flipped Out Bride is a half-hour free-form gee-tar freakout. The sound is a bit clearer than on some of its comparable cousins. While the most immediately striking of these things (e.g. the gripping Klangfarbenmelodie…) swing wildly in temperament and execution, Flipped Out Bride spends a few minutes setting the mood and the rest letting it simmer enough that, when it reaches its clattering apex (at about 22:00), its release feels well earned.

After the glacially escalating drone of “Flipped Out Bride” (part one of two), “O Sweet Lanolin” (part two of two) finally gets back to Moore’s trademark raking, overtone-y, echo-inflated, Branca-indebted method. And yet, most of his stylistic tics remain submerged in the wintry texture. More than most of his solo work, Flipped Out Bride distils the grim beauty in downtown guitar rock. It rides the low. It’s a great February disc.

Predictably, this CD is not a stand-alone item, but part of a larger project touching on visual art and literature. Fuck yes, it’s self-indulgent. Many embittered ex-punks will disapprove. But, as he often does, Thurston Moore makes “dancing about architecture” sound like it might be a lot of fun.

By Emerson Dameron

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