Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of.
Week of 10/24/2014
WHO: Thurston Moore
WHAT: The Best Day
The last two projects we've heard from former Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore have come recently but have been a far stretch from what you'd expect from his most iconic group or his other solo work. He joined with black metal supergroup Twilight for its last album earlier this year while releasing a similarly bombastic record with Chelsea Light Moving during 2014.
Those influences are barely touched upon during The Best Day however, with the exception with some feedback at the introduction to "Detonation." Moore seems to be interested in a more stripped-down approach here, for better or for worse. We don't even get to hear an electric guitar until after the first three tracks (which stretch comprise more than half the length of the overall album). We don't allege that his plugged-in tracks are in the same category as Sonic Youth but they're sure more interesting than repetitive opener "Speak To The Wild," which never really accelerates from the get-go.
"The Best Day," title track and first electric tune we hear, serves better to represent the rock 'n' roll attitude of the album, shuffling along like Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Bad Moon Rising." It's tough not to associate the (possibly) introspective lyrics with Moore's well publicized divorce from fellow Sonic Youth member Kim Gordon but paparazzi listeners shouldn't expect Moore's feelings on the matter bled out on the page.
The Best Day is hardly uniform, sometimes uncomfortably disparate in its approaches (closer "Germs Burn" takes a dramatic turn for the punk) but fans might be relieved to hear something more in line with the music they began idolizing Moore for in the beginning.