Blonde Redhead – Penny Sparkle
Having instigated an evolution away from their Sonic Youth-aping origins with the release of 2000’s, Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons, Blond Redhead’s latest long-player, Penny Sparkle, perfectly punctuates a decade of significant change for the band. Seventeen years on from their inception, and their penchant for sonic experimentation remains intact, though gone are the detuned guitars, splintering feedback and warped harmonics, replaced instead by spacious sound-scapes, textured with subtle, electro-inflections, shimmering-synths and ghosting vocals.
The programmed beats and granular base of opening salvo Here Sometimes and Will There be Stars represent Penny Sparkle’s most energetic efforts, before the album drifts in to the soothing comedown-slumber of My Plants Are Dead and closer, Spain. With barely a guitar in sight, Penny Sparkle represents the next step in a bold metamorphosis for Blonde Redhead, and one which has most certainly breathed a new lease of life into the NYC trio. [Paul Neeson]