On Lee Ranaldo’s ninth solo offering, Last Night On Earth, he’s accompanied by a backing band, The Dust. Unfortunately, it feels much like his largely-acoustic but equally unimpressive eighth release, 2009’s Between the Times and Tides.
The music on Last Night on Earth is just fine. It’s listenable, and everyone involved is a competent musician. He’s even got Steve Shelley from Sonic Youth on drums. But the cool hooks and clever lyrics littered throughout Last Night On Earth don’t add up to something essential.
“The Rising Tide” is a solid cut and a monster at over nine minutes and, while a portion of that time is spent lost in a “spacey jam,” there’s enough meat for the song to make a strong impression. The rest of the album doesn’t.
Perhaps I’m being too hard on Ranaldo, but I know he’s capable of delivering some of the same emotional impact and bold, innovative material that makes his other band Sonic Youth so memorable. So I hope we get more of that next time around. – (4/10)
Derek “Bagel” York also contributes to Northern California culture magazine Savage Henry.