Album Review

Last Night on Earth

Last Night on Earth

by Lee Ranaldo and The Dust

7.5 / 10
15th October 2013

Reviewed by Paul Larsen

In lieu of the increasingly unlikely Sonic Youth reunion, fans of the alternative pioneers are left to pour over the regular solo releases from the band's past members. But with each new release the individual players appear to spiral further away from each other in sound and direction. Founding member and guitarist, Lee Ranaldo continues to course his own trajectory into the outer reaches with his newest record, Last Night on Earth.

Written almost entirely on an acoustic guitar in his dark and powerless New York home in the days following hurricane Sandy, Last Night on Earth has since been fleshed out into an expansive and densely layered collection of unrestricted noise-rock indie jams. Ranaldo's six string prowess sits front and centre throughout with multi-tracked solos intermittently puncturing the wall-of-sound production.

Key moments, 'Ambulancer' and 'Blackt Out' demonstrate Ranaldo's ability to effectively marry musicianship and song writing. Here he echoes Michael Stipe's existential themes and vocal delivery but eschews this approach for delightfully shambolic and distortion heavy solos which borrow heavily from latter Neil Young. Energetic but unhurried, sprawling but never directionless, Last Night on Earth deserves a play-through - Sonic Youth fan or not.

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