WHO ARE THEY? The now-disbanded but still rightfully beloved noise-rock titans from New York City.
WHAT IS THIS? The latest in a continuing series of archival live releases: Most of an Independence Day performance in a park mere blocks from their lower Manhattan stomping grounds. Technically it’s a reissue, since it was originally a limited-edition bonus LP released in 2009 with their final album The Eternal. But hey, beggars and choosers, you know?
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? A fine way to spend a holiday. The band is firing on all cylinders, with Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo weaving sonic squalls of sound while Kim Gordon works the mic. The set list is heavy on Daydream Nation tracks like The Sprawl and Hey Joni — but also leaves room for early deep cuts like She Is Not Alone, then-current fare like Jams Run Free and singles like Bull in the Heather and 100%. Looking for Teen Age Riot, Kool Thing and Expressway to Yr. Skull? Sorry.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? SY Take Manhattan: Assault in Battery.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? At full volume. And with no small amount of regret that the chances of a reunion appear to fall somewhere between slim and none.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Noisy, gnarly, knotty, avant-garde, fierce, propulsive, volcanic, messy, blistering, driving.
WHAT ARE THE BEST/WORST SONGS? The two-headed beast of The Wonder and Hyperstation sets the controls for the heart of the sun.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Do you have to play that so loud?’ The answer, of course is: ‘Yes I do.’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Until the next essential gig comes out.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A PAINTER, WHICH PAINTER WOULD IT BE? Jackson Pollock.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL? Hey, it’s not like there are going to be any new studio albums to buy.