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Friday, June 13, 2008

LISTENING POST

CD REVIEW

Free Kitten "Inherit"


Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, former-Pussy Galore guitarist Julie Cafritz, and Osaka's own Yoshimi P-We of Vooredoms and OOIOO fame comprise alt-rock "supergroup" Free Kitten. Absent on their third full-length, "Inherit," is ex-Pavement bassist Mark Ibold, but Dinosaur Jr. frontman J. Mascis adds some extra muscle with guest appearances on two tracks.

Issued through Sonic Youth guitarist (and Gordon's hubby) Thurston Moore's Ecstatic Peace Records, the arguably incestuous side-project's first recording in 11 years opens with slow-burner "Erected Girl." Gordon's whispered vocals play out over a repetitive bed of stripped-down, fuzzy guitar and minimalist drumming, giving the cut a very Sonic Youth-ish feel. Her distinct voice and singing style take several other songs into this familiar terrain.

Mascis' Neil Young-influenced guitar licks add a fantastically spacey classic-rock edge to the trio's off-kilter art rock on the too-short "Surf's Up," while the Cafritz-helmed "Seasick" features some pretty cool kazoo at the beginning. Noisy anthems "Help Me" and "Bananas" hint at the act's more experimental past.

On the whole, though, "Inherit" is more of a straight rock effort and, while not without its share of interesting moments, the disc turns after a few listens into mildly entertaining background noise at best, likely giving it a short shelf life for anyone other than Sonic Youth fanatics.



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