Kim Gordon takes us on a noisy, creative, and inspired journey with her solo debut.
Surprisingly, this is Kim Gordon’s solo debut after nearly 40 years in the industry. Since the break up of Sonic Youth, she has kept busy with her project Body/Head along with guitarist Bill Nace, but this is her first venture into solo territory. Gordon is a clear indie-rock icon and has deservingly been credited as one of the most influential artists in that or any genre. But with Sonic Youth and her marriage to long-time Sonic Youth collaborator Thurston Moore in the rearview mirror, she is clearly ready to take her art to a new place. The results of this new release deliver a poetic, creative, and noisy bundle of goodness.
No Home Record opens up with the captivating track, Sketch Artist. This is a bass-heavy, swirling song that lets you know that this is going to be an experimental record and lyrically heavy: “And the wind chimes strike…Your dead stare strikes…as well as musically heavy.” It’s a nice, moody track and tone-setter.
Air BnB follows and is a monstrous and massive rock song. It has a wonderfully dissonant musical feel and features the classic Gordon vocal delivery. It’s draped in nostalgia, but also has an air of pure relevance and freshness. Paprika Pony then claps it’s way into your ears with a clear trip-hop vibe: “You take a bite…Out of the apple…First.” The lyrics are delivered in a sultry and hypnotic fashion, and this is a song that you can groove to.
Murdered Out features continued dissonance and noise, with strong electronic/industrial elements. A pulsing, driving beat sustains throughout and again has a strong groove and is a tremendously listenable track. Don’t Play It checks it at around five minutes in length and is electronically driven and effect-filled wonderland. The next track, Cookie Butter, is an artful composition of minimal and hypnotic phrasing giving off a trance-feel: “I saw…I knew…I remember…I liked…I met…I awaken…I wish.” It’s a bold and fearless track.
Earthquake is a pressure cooker of a song, with a slow build without a huge climactic finish. Gordon really sings on this track, and you hear a sense of vulnerability as she delivers with purpose and passion: “This song is for you…If I could cry and shake for you”. Get Yr Life Back closes the record, and is a moody and poetic effort. It has an air of both personal and political, leading to a strong finish.
If you are looking for another Sonic Youth Record, look somewhere else. What you will find here is both experimental and artistic as you would expect from Gordon. There are certainly Sonic Youth elements at times, but No Home Record is decisively unique, reflective, and relevant. This record may not have a typical punk or indie rock sound, but Kim Gordon remains punk. She takes risks, speaks openly, and basically does what she wants on this album. It took a career of twists and turns to get to this point, but the door is clearly open – or should I say has been knocked down – for Gordon to usher in an exciting new chapter.
By Eric Keith