Lee Ranaldo : Electric Trim

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Lee Ranaldo : Electric Trim


Guitarist with the seminal Sonic Youth, Lee Ranaldo has long since moved on from the aural assault of that band to the more tranquil introspective approach of a Vini Reilly or Tom Verlaine. Opener ‘Moroccan Mountains’ gives the game away at the outset. Conceptually strong, he’s able to develop the grand ideas he attempts to propose.

Ideas are controlled and focused. ‘Uncle Skeleton’ has a sardonic wit much like Lou Reed. “You need to keep the skeleton entertained,” he sings with tongue firmly in cheek. Yet the immersive arrangements have samples of blistering fuzz in just enough measure to indicate he hasn’t forgotten where he’s come from.

Sharon van Etten guests on ‘Last Looks’ and embraces the insecurities of adult life with refinement and an allowance for some unflinching sentimentality, until mid-song when there is a collision of more earnest moments.

A sense of inescapable fate pervades on ‘Thrown Over The Wall’ as Ranaldo battles joy, beauty and anger. Electric Trim is full of hazy, meandering and wandering songs which successfully wrestle lucidity from a richly textured sound.