The joy in listening to Sonic Youth is that you could hum along even when humming along made no sense at all. You could get lost in a song’s acrobatics, match its rise and fall with your humming and whistling, but it wasn’t like you were ever going to get trapped in a pop nightmare of sameness. Just as you begin to figure out how to hum along to the chiming, warbling, screaming guitar in one section, well, then everything falls apart into a noise oblivion, taking you to the next floor of the abandoned warehouse of sound.
Enter now Norway’s Megaphonic Thrift. Sit back, begin to hum along and enjoy the melody, and then realize you lost track of that melody somewhere quite soon but you’re still humming anyway. The Megaphonic Thrift’s Decay Decoy has that obliterated melodic structure that enchants you and throws you off at every twist and turn.
“The Undertow” opens the album with a guitar noise shockingly similar to Billy Idol’s “White Wedding,” but then the song takes on mainly a classic hard rock stance with riffs and soloing guitars all over the place. Yet, all along you feel like prog rock will take over and blow the thing to smithereens. It becomes a combination of My Morning Jacket and Black Mountain.
“Talks Like a Weed King” punks things up more towards that Sonic Youth way of chanting and railing through the pogoing. “Neues” sets a foundation at its beginning that clangs and rattles but in its own way can only be described as beautiful.
And perhaps that’s the key with the Megaphonic Thrift. You have to be ready to describe the off-key, wheels-falling-off-the-speeding-truck music as having great beauty.