No Home Record
Kim Gordon’s first solo album has effectively distinguished her sound from ‘80s No Wave engineers, Sonic Youth. Despite her years of various artistry since the band’s demise in 2011, being a co-founder is a label that Gordon can’t seem to shake free from. With No Home Record, she has differentiated herself from that particular boundary, and has let loose something that is at times strange and dark, yet altogether alluring.
No Home Record melds industrial sounds from producer Justin Raisen with Gordon’s versatile vocals. Sultry spoken word gives way to raw cries and edgy lyrics. Underneath is a soundscape of noise: repetitive beats, dirty bass tones, tremulous and dissonant synthetic sounds. It’s trashy in the best way possible.
Much of the album is something you’d expect to hear in a smoky, sexy, underground nightclub. Consistent beats elevate a slightly uncomfortable avant-garde darkness. Ethereal, dreamy segments in tracks such as “Sketch Artist” and “Earthquake” offer some reprieve from the grinding tone.
For those seeking a little more structure, a handful of the songs do adhere to a more conventional standard of songwriting. “Murdered Out,” and “Hungry Baby” are particularly user-friendly, and almost catchy.
Superficially, it is difficult not to draw comparison’s with Sonic Youth’s No Wave mindset, but notably, this is the first time we’ve heard Gordon without another vocal collaborator. No Home Records is all Gordon, and not particularly polished. It’s a worthy reminder that punk is an attitude, and that power chords and catchy lyrics do not a punk album make.