Label: Ecstatic Peace/Universal Records
If you dig Sonic Youth but find yourself skipping to the songs that Thurston Moore sings, here's a treat for your discerning ears. Leaning more on songcraft than experimentation, Trees Outside the Academy recalls bits of 1996's Psychic Hearts, with more acoustic guitar and violin this time. Electric-guitar fans need not fret; J Mascis' cameos keeps things sounding distorted and familiar (the album was recorded at Mascis' studio). And with Sonic Youth's Steve Shelley on drums, Trees sometimes sounds like Moore merely forgot to bring his amps, pedals and wife to the studio.