Monday, 8 February 2010



The debut record from Sleater-Kinney is something of a much more blunt affair and one that comes as a surprise after hearing them be so attractively structured over the years with their almost overground nudging “hits.”

I actually wound up possessing this record by accident as it was given away free at a Robin Ince gig as he found himself having a clear out at home, disposing of records that he felt he has grown out of while freeing up space at home.

These are the real royal roots of Sleater-Kinney in Riot Grrrl.  The songs hold a subtle menace in the dark playing of guitars that appear to hover and loom over proceedings.  Even though the band were not slipping into baby doll cliché there is a shared sound in their playing that goes with early Hole and Babes Into Toyland as failing persuasion remains constant in the motored motion of their songs.  This was also a sound often executed by bands like Drive Like Jehu displaying an uncomfortable and uneasy trait.  There aren’t many laughs attached to this record.

Elsewhere there is a definite Bikini Kill and Huggy Bear vibe (especially on “Sold Out”), albeit one with as much shouting.  On the whole this was a band displaying leanings towards the smarter side of the movement.  At the end of the day though I would argue that technically this band was superior to all the female bands that came before it as they abstained from filling out their sound with bass and incorporated intricate guitar part one after the other to produced a layer sounded of hidden depths that provides many riches for those who invest a closer a ear.

Clocking in at just under 23 minutes it is almost impossible for this album to outstay its welcome.  Perhaps stifled slightly by low budget recording funds the songs take their force from other elements such as the empowering message of “The Day I Went Away” in addition to the self defensive tone of tracks such as “How To Play Dead”.  Also there is no denying the hooks of “Be Yr Mama”.

Also at this stage the vocals were still yet to manifest themselves into their later shriek and instead find themselves delivered in a more menacing mumble.

Worth noting is that Janet Weiss did not play drums on this record as instead Lora Macfarlane performed the duties.  Basically this was a band still finding their way.

The record ends in a kindly manner displaying the softer side of the band prior to one last blast of screaming offering clear demonstration that there was more to this act than was tasted here.

Way to begin!

Thesaurus moment: flourish.

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