Album Reviews

Lee Ranaldo – Electric Trim – Album Review

Lee Ranaldo – Electric Trim – Album Review by Killian Laher

Former Sonic Youth guitarist Lee Ranaldo follows up 2012’s Between The Times and Tides by teaming up with ex bandmate Steve Shelley and Nels Cline among others for this album.  He goes very psychedelic on this one, opening track Moroccan Mountains has resonances of pseudo-mystical stuff like The Doors.  Uncle Skeleton is a sparse SY-like rocker featuring chilling lyrics, half-spoken by Ranaldo about how “you have to shake the flesh off to open up the body’s door”… “use the scalpel, use the knife” over taut, economic guitar leads.  Not one to listen to with your grandmother, but one of the stronger tracks here.  Last Looks has a mellower, pastoral vibe, akin to an indie Harvest Moon and features Sharon Van Etten on backing vocals.  A fairly atypical track for Ranaldo, it drifts along very pleasantly for three and a half minutes before unaccountably speeding up and turning into a psychedelic U2 song.  Yes, really.  Elsewhere, Circular has echoes of the more melancholy side of Beck but rocked up a bit.

The rest is passable Doors-y guitar rock, tracks like Purloined, Thrown Over The Wall and the title track are by no means bad but the album lacks any real standout track.  It ends pleasantly enough with New Thing, which builds gradually from slow beginnings through shades of Alice In Chains to a kind of reaffirming finale, Van Etten chiming in on backing vocals again. A strange album which will mainly appeal to Sonic Youth/Lee Ranaldo fans.

Track List:

1. Moroccan Mountains
2. Uncle Skeleton
3. Let’s Start Again
4. Last Looks
5. Circular (Right As Rain)
6. Electric Trim
7. Purloined
8. Thrown Over The Wall
9. New Thing

Circular (Right As Rain) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categories: Album Reviews, Header, Music

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