Kim Gordon – No Home Record

Having sustained my first ever moshpit injury at a Sonic Youth gig in the early 90’s at The Reading Festival, involving someone else’s Doc Marten boot, squelchy mud and my head, to seeing their last ever gig in Manchester, it’s fair to say Kim Gordon’s former band, Sonic Youth, have occupied a large portion of my musical life. What appealed was the sheer quality of the songs, they were true musical pioneers, constantly evolving and mixing their unique guitar sounds with some of the best rock melodies around.

Kim Gordon has always been an innovator, from her Sonic Youth days to her recent collaborations with Bill Nace in the band Body/Head, which were more avant grade noise explorations. For her debut under her own name, she’s taken elements of both – the experimental and the indie rock to create an album which rocks like a beast one minute then twists and warps your mind with sheer inventiveness the next.

It feels like a natural progression from Sonic Youth to Body/Head to this, and whilst Body/Head had more exploratory guitar noise leading the way, on ‘No Home Record‘  there’s more of a melodic charge, albeit with ingenious cut up, innovative sounds, which defiantly sticks two fingers up at genres, conventions and will make any writer get their brain cells in a twist attempting to describe it.

There’s fuzzed guitars blasting out riffs against some damn fine electro drums, keyboard wizardry, and sound collages, with Gordon’s vocals both melodic and forceful at the same time as on the brilliant ‘Air BnB’. Some tracks are more like leftfield dance tunes with cut up beats, soundscapes and Gordon’s vocals providing an intensely rhythmic tune, as on ‘Murdered Out‘. Then there’s the deep bass grooves and dystopian soundscapes of ‘Cookie Butter’ with Gordon doing a spoken word piece over the top to the hypnotic beats of ‘Hungry Baby’ which sounds like Spaceman 3 or Suicide, all pounding rock riffs and huge basslines. Lyrically there’s everything from Gordon’s take on consumerism and capitalism to poetic collages of everyday life all running through the album.

There has always been more if an art inspired approach to Gordon’s work, utilising experiments in sound combined with a more rock based approach to song writing is what has always set her apart from most other musicians. Having followed her career from my first encounter with Sonic Youth as a teen to still being enthralled by her musical output today, Gordon remains somewhat of an artistic enigma, and on ‘No Home Record’ has created a unique, forward thinking, and hugely enjoyable album.

Kim Gordon – No Home Record: Out Now (Matador Records)

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From the early days of creating handmade zines, in a DIY paper and glue style, interviewing bands around town, then pestering Piccadilly Records to sell them, to writing for various independent mags such as Chimp and Ablaze, writing about the music I love is still a great passion. After testing the music industry waters in London with stints at various labels, being back in my hometown again, writing about this city’s vibrant music scene is as exciting as ever. All time favourite bands include Sonic Youth, Nick Cave, Patti Smith although anything from electro to folk via blues and pysch rock will also do nicely too. A great album, is simply a great album, regardless of whatever musical cage you put it in.