Lee Ranaldo – Electric Trim

Free from the restraints of seminal punk noise legends Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo has fully realized his musical ambitions on his latest record. If Sonic Youth were the Beatles, Ranaldo would be George Harrison, and Electric Trimis his All Things Must Pass.

Album opener “Moroccan Mountains” embraces Ranaldo’s love for all things 1960’s and psychedelic. The track sounds much like something off of The Doors’ L.A. Woman, slow and mysterious with Lee’s spoken word vocals followed by Morrison-yelps. Later, it picks up momentum into a frantic pace, mirroring the sounds of The Velvet Underground’s “Heroin.” The duet with Sharon Van Etten “Last Looks” is one of the more pleasingly straightforward compositions in Ranaldo’s catalog, and quite possibly the prettiest piece of music he’s ever committed to tape.

While at times, there’s a certain level of inconsistency and randomness to the songs, they somehow manage to coalesce into a triumphant statement. The arrangements feel intentional, but somehow simultaneously disjointed.

Ranaldo was only ever allowed a song or two per Sonic Youth album and Electric Trim spectacularly highlight his ability to spread his wings and embark on a glorious voyage into the sun. Stay tuned.

Rating: 10 out of 12 cans of PBR!

About Ben Allen

Our music editor Ben Allen was born one stormy evening in a quaint Northern California coastal village. Upon birth he was immediately exposed to the soothing analog sounds of artists such as Fleetwood Mac, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Captain Beefheart and Santana. As the lad grew, so did his appreciation for an assortment of abrasive hard rock. A pubescent flirtation with butt metal was shattered in the early 1990’s by exposure to Nirvana and other so-called “Alternative” bands. While in college, our protagonist became a DJ on a local station, and began work as a freelance music journalist. During this period he became entranced with artists such as Tortoise, Slint, Modest Mouse, Guided By Voices and Pavement. Currently Allen resides in Arcata, CA where he continues to obsess and salivate over new recordings by his favorite artists. He works with music industry people to ensure that Savage Henry’s contributors receive music and other promotional materials. He also writes a silly monthly list titled “Ben’s 10.”

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