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Kim Gordon - The Collective (Album Review)

Monday, 11 March 2024 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Danielle Neu

Kim Gordon’s second solo album is a grimy hot mess — a sonic journey into guitar dirges, glitchy trap beats and scrawled late night iPhone notes. It's another strikingly bold record from the former Sonic Youth bassist and maintains much of the urgent energy of her 2019 debut ‘No Home Record’.

The music has a sledgehammer cool to it. Opener and lead single BYE BYE opens with clicky beats, matched up with a scratchy industrial guitar that takes the sound toward Nine Inch Nails. From here, Gordon deadpans a sort-of glamorous holiday checklist: “Hoodie, toothpaste, brush, foundation / Contact solution, mascara, lip mask, eye mask / Ear plugs, travel shampoo, conditioner / Eyeliner, dental floss, money for the cleaners.” 

It’s pretty good stuff, actually. Similarly, I’m a Man manages to combine Gordon’s musical brand — alt-rock, broadly speaking — with modern sounding hip hop drums and stream-of-consciousness lyrics. 

This doesn’t quite stick the landing as well but it could still soundtrack a grunge-themed runway show or a contemporary arts opening. Indeed, Gordon also produces work as a visual artist in the galleries of LA and New York, so she’s serious about this scene. Maybe a little too serious. 

In Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker’s 2005 satirical sitcom Nathan Barley the titular hero is a so-called ‘idiot’ — a hipster media producer swaggering around East London, doing pranks and creating obnoxious digital art. In this day-glo scene there is a DJ character called Jones (played by Noel Fielding) who plays a kind of noisecore/thrashy electro combo at top volume at all hours. That is what ‘The Collective’ sounds like.

It’s not clear whether Gordon sees the funny side of her music, and maybe it doesn’t matter, but ‘The Collective’ dances right on the precipice of being really cool and edgy, and really, really dumb. You might find it thrilling when accompanied by a free bar and art collectors, and then wake up next morning to find you've spent £10,000 on an AI-generated photo of David Bowie relieving himself into a toaster.

Kim Gordon Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue June 25 2024 - LONDON KOKO
Wed June 26 2024 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Institute2

Compare & Buy Kim Gordon Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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