Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sonic Youth / Jay Reatard Split single - Record Store day

Just wanted to give another record store day single it's proper coverage today, this one the Jay Reatard / Sonik You*h split.

Sonic Youth' 'No Garage' is completely rehearsal space recorded. The bass notes rumble the snare. The high hat is unbalanced, the crashes flattened in the distance. But it's completely alive. The guitar leads a deep groove, that gets more minimal by the measure, until it's just bass and kick working together in time while Thurston wails. It's a roller coaster...the groove comes back and they immediately break it down again. The only vocals are Thurston just barely audibly yelling 1,2,3,4 to lead into the real disintegration, total freakout.
This is rumored to be a demo of 'Anti-orgasm' from their unreleased new album The Eternal, I'm hoping there's more of this raw sound like the 'Helen Lundeburg' track from Ripped. It's hearing them like this that I completely re-appreciate everything....like listening to a live show, to be able to spontaneously create this noise, and to hear the control they have over an amp and a guitar, looking back at their vast catalog, it just continues to get better and better.
The best part of course is in exploiting the format itself, the track spirals out into an endless loop of feedback that's easy to get lost in for a few minutes afterwords. It's a shame when eventually you have to pick up the needle. But I have to hear the new Jay Reatard after all.

Jay offers up 'Hang them all', which is right in line with Blood Visions. It's brief, the hook is over way before it should be.
A weird synth sound creeps in before it's power ballad Cars influenced. The most processed, gated guitar sounds that would sound ridiculous anywhere else.
The rhymes are obvious, it all sounds vaguely familiar, but he's a master creator of choruses, just pure genius, it's all forgotten. Harmonizing with himself, two snare hits on the beat are setting up the chords to pound it home again and I'm screaming along at the top of my lungs. He's going to make me look like a reatard listening to it utterly happy with myself. It's a small price to pay.
There is a weird break of a cappella 'oh un ah oh' which the guitar mirrors and the snare suddenly takes on a march beat. Jay shys away from the ballad, thank god, and this is as sensitive as I've heard him sound in this section.
Not to be predictable... the track ends with some kind of layered acoustic flamenco guitar.
But that's Jay's unique genius, to mix all this up and come up with the perfect power pop punk every time.

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