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posted: 10/4/2012 12:00 PM

'YOKOKIMTHURSTON' a weary creation

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  • Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, "Yokokimthurston"

    Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, "Yokokimthurston"

Associated Press

Yoko Ono, Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, "YOKOKIMTHURSTON" (Chimera)

There are no songs on "YOKOKIMTHURSTON." This is a practical heads-up before firing up this mess of a collaboration between Yoko Ono and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore.

There are tracks -- six of them, and none shorter than seven minutes. There are chants and groans and poetry and Ono making witchy moans that are about as spooky as one of those $5 haunted houses that spring up every Halloween.

Underneath that is familiar Sonic Youth territory: scraping and scratchy guitars, tinny plinks and plucks, pleasing noise. But there's never a satisfying end waiting around the corner as Gordon and Moore mostly stay in the backseat, having recorded this project a few months before announcing their split last year that's put the future of Sonic Youth in doubt.

"YOKOKIMTHURSTON" is avant-garde by a trio who's carved a career out of making avant-garde palatable to mainstream tastes. But this is art-show fare without melody.

Check this out: More in the vein of "Mirror Mirror" should've been where all this improvisation was headed in the first place. Gordon's pure voice plays off well when Ono is speaking instead of shrieking.

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