Say what you will about the man's personal life, but Thurston Moore is one hell of a musician. Nowhere is this more evident than on The Best Day, the art rock elder statesman's fourth solo album and first since moving to London in early 2013.
Following more in the footsteps of late-career Sonic Youth than his recent foray with Chelsea Light Moving, Moore's new eight-song album is a record filled with complementary guitar lines ("Speak to the Wild"), dissonant post-punk thrashers (11-minute epic "Forevermore" and the upbeat "Detonation") and poetic, punk rock ponderings (the Darby Crash-alluding "Germs Burn").
Moore's songs sound downright jubilant on this album, especially when compared to the introspective and sombre sounds of 2011's Demolished Thoughts. Thanks in large part has to go to his new backing band, which is composed of Nøught guitarist James Sedwards, My Bloody Valentine bassist Debbie Googe and Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley, who all sound completely dialled in to Moore's minimalist but powerful chord progressions and Blake-ian vocal takes, providing a groove infused sway that shimmies and shakes alongside each of his characteristic riffs.
Purists will always pine for Sonic Youth and their glory days, but with a band and album this good, who cares about the past? (Matador)