Sonic Youth have long been seen as the talismans of alternative indie rock. With Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon going through a divorce, it’s likely that fans of the band will have to turn to solo material to fill that void of feedback and slacker 90’s cool.
Lee Ranaldo has always been an outspoken member of the group, yet his guitar playing has undoubtedly influenced the current generation of noise freaks. Recorded with veteran Sonic Youth producer John Angelo, “Off the Wall” is a melodic piece of guitar pop, which deals with Ranaldo’s childhood, and the typical description of teenage alienation that defined much of his old bands perspective. While this track may be very listenable, for me that’s the big problem with this record; how safe it is. While it may have been equally as bad to duplicate the aggressive guitar tones of Sonic Youth, succumbing to the soft balls indie rock approach is a cardinal error. Maybe Ranaldo was doomed either way. Fans of this can expect a full length release in March, by the fine people at Matador records, and a tour to follow later this year.
You can get it for free below: