Body/Head: No Waves
Since the end of Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon has gone into the abyss of noise rock and drone further than her previous band could ever have fathomed.
As one half of Body/Head alongside guitarist Bill Nace, Gordon has spent the last few years going against the conventions of the electric guitar and creating music that’s dark, imposing and sprawling, resulting in an impressive debut (2013’s Coming Apart) and reputably intense live shows.
It’s the latter from which No Waves is drawn – it’s a three-part, 40-minute improvised performance from 2014. Each piece the duo creates is weighted by duelling guitar cacophony, moaning and shrieking from either end of the fretboard in a manner that is at once engrossing and entirely unsettling. Gordon’s vocals are shrouded in reverb, occasionally turning into banshee-like howls with few discernible lyrics.
Admittedly, it’s a tall order for anyone not possessing a somewhat advanced interest in the noisier spectrum of music. Then again, both Gordon and Nace are at the point in their careers where they’re not pursuing this style of performance for anyone but themselves.
No Waves is two artists with nothing to prove, getting everything out of their system. Get with it or get lost.