Lee Ranaldo: Between The Times And The Tides

Straight-ahead fare featuring Sonic Youth man’s best buds.

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In the past, solo Ranaldo has taken his guitar to some extreme Improv places and his cast of side players here, including Alan Licht, Nels Cline and Jim O’ Rourke, all have ultra-left field credentials. However, these guys love to play straight as much as they do bizarre.

Between The Times And The Tides is aptly named – this isn’t trad or retro rock, although Tomorrow Never Comes chugs at a similar tempo to The Beatles’ Tomorrow Never Knows.

Ranaldo and co have gone to an old well to dredge up fresh water for these outings, which are familiar in contours but never tediously or predictably so. It would not be human of the listener to scan the lyrics for reference to his break-up with Kim Gordon, or of Ranaldo not to express pain – on Waiting On A Dream he does sing of being ‘out in the middle of the world… trying to tell myself you’re just another girl’.

But essentially, this is feel-good, cheer-up, high pedigree rock. Just what’s needed, maybe.

David Stubbs

David Stubbs is a music, film, TV and football journalist. He has written for The Guardian, NME, The Wire and Uncut, and has written books on Jimi Hendrix, Eminem, Electronic Music and the footballer Charlie Nicholas.