For 40 plus years Kim Gordon has been a huge part of the worlds musical landscape. As a founding member of influential rockers Sonic Youth, Gordon has been creating exciting pop and experimental music since most of us can remember. It’s taken this long but the one and only Kool Thing has decided to drop her debut solo album and it’s a lovely distillation of the previous work she’s done prior plus a ton of surprises that let you know she’s not finished putting her wonderful point of view out there. The album No Home Record gives us a Gordon who seems revitalized, excited and taking the steps to secure her own legacy, on her own terms.
The album audaciously kicks off with “Sketch Artist” and it’s quite the kickoff. All rumbling bass and Gordon’s familiar, stream of consciousness staccato, the track hits hard right off the top and establishes that Gordon isn’t messing around here. “Air BnB” takes Gordon back to her more noisier noise rock roots. Jagged, slashing guitars fight it out in the huge choruses as Gordon shouts over top. The record, produced by Justin Raisen who has worked with a diverse line of artists from Angel Olsen to Charli XCX, keeps things moving and very interesting throughout the run time of the album. Gordon’s inherent musical curiosity is the driving force here as she experiments with elements of trap on “Paprika Pony”, industrial learning fury on “Murdered Out” and the warped clubbiness of “Don’t Play It”. As disparate as these elements seem, they all work so wonderfully together and it is all so wonderfully her own. Album centrepiece “Cookie Butter” grinds for six minutes of frenetic bass blasts and Gordon’s fierce vocal stylings keeping the whole thing moving. Her singing across the length of No Home Record is so defiant and exciting, it captures your attention and keeps you involved no matter how concrete the music gets.
It’s a great thing to have an artists like Kim Gordon who seems so interested in what they can do to play with and subvert the regular song, that after 40 years she is still sounding so fresh. Before listening, it was hard to believe that “No Home Record” is Gordon’s first solo offering after a lifetime of great music but after listening, it is the sound of a singular artist stepping out on her own, sounding as fresh as she ever has, as defiant as she ever has and as unforgiving as she ever has and all this adds up to an extremely satisfy musical treat for all of us.
review by Adam Fink
No Home Record by Kim Gordon comes out on October 11, via Matador Records