Yeah, I still wish Sonic Youth would reunite too. But this double-strength batch of scrappy indie-rock chuggers and expansively freewheeling instrumental excursions from hazy-piped singer-guitarist and legendary guitar abuser Thurston Moore is a damn fine consolation prize. And hell, maybe if you put on a flannel shirt and torn jeans, smoke some skunkweed and program a playlist that alternates these tracks with the best of Kim and Lee’s last albums, it’ll be like old times. In any case, it’s probably as close as you’re ever gonna get.
THE PRESS RELEASE: “This is Thurston Moore’s seventh solo album, and features musicians Deb Googe (My Bloody Valentine) on bass and backing vocals, Jon Leidecker aka ‘Wobbly’ (of Negativland) on electronics, James Sedwards on guitar, and Sonic Youth’s Steve Shelley, as well as Jem Doulton, alternating on drums. Prior to isolation during the COVID pandemic, Thurston worked in recording studios in North London until the third week of March 2020 to complete this album. While the musicians may not immediately tour, Thurston was adamant to release By The Fire in 2020.
By The Fire is music in ﬂames. 2020 is our time for radical change and collective awareness and Thurston Moore has written nine songs of enlightenment, released to a world on ﬁre. Taking a cue from Albert Ayler’s “music is the healing force of the universe”, this recording offers songs as ﬂames of rainbow energy, where the power of love becomes our call. These are love songs in a time where creativity is our dignity, our demonstration against the forces of oppression. By The Fire is a gathering, a party of peace — songs in the heat of the moment. Some of the songs feature all of the musicians whist a few are solo guitar and vocals. Thurston worked on the ﬁnal cover and sleeve art with London-based artist Radieux Radio, who also scribed lyrics for a few of the tracks.”