You'll see colors, man.Caroline International, 2017
7.2 / 10
Thurston Moore was once part of Sonic Youth. There, got that out of the way immediately. It’s almost impossible to mention Moore without mentioning his reason for his success. And yes, I know he has a solo career; otherwise, I wouldn’t be reviewing this album. He also has another band or at least I think he still does — Chelsea Light Moving. However, would he be a part of any conversation if not for his time in Sonic Youth? Probably not. Hell, even Sonic Youth is barely worth talking about for their music anymore. All anyone wants to discuss now is Moore and Kim Gordon’s messy split. Yet, Thurston Moore presses on; doing his guitar thing with his buddies. Joining him for Rock n Roll Consciousness are Deb Googe (of My Bloody Valentine) on bass, James Sedwards on guitar and Steve Shelley (Sonic Youth) on drums.
To its credit, Rock n Roll Consciousness plays like a fun jam session between friends. While there are bigger themes behind the songs, the most enjoyable thing about them is the music. If you can’t get into what Moore and company are doing here, then you’re left to lyrics from poet Radio Radieux to ponder over. Themes of goddess mysticism, healing through rebirth, nature as an entity inform Rock n Roll Consciousness. Maybe Moore has been doing some soul-searching after his “alleged” shitty behavior toward Kim Gordon over the years. If it gives him peace, that’s great. And if others can gain some mystical insight through this album, that’s great too.
But the jams, man. The jams are pretty good. At just five songs, Rock n Roll Consciousness‘s songs go long. They range from mellow like “Smoke of Dreams” to volatile like “Exalted”. In the latter song, thunderous explosions erupt past the five minute mark, disturbing the tranquil guitar melodies thus far. The colossal booms sound like something from a heavy metal fantasy. The guitar riffs almost quiver in panic before settling down for the song’s vocals. “Aphrodite” shares in its adventurous with some absolutely scuzzy moments that balance against serene melodies. It casts a spell on the mind. Aside from its themes, Moore is musically attempting at a transcendent quality. He wants you to be part of this journey where you’ll see colors. Colors like the very ones decorating his mug on the cover art.