Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What's Playing | Sleater-Kinney - All Hands on the Bad One

By Jen Eide

When I got home from work last night and was making dinner, I wondered what I would blog about next. While pondering just what exactly it is that makes the powdered cheese in my macaroni packet that weird, almost neon orange color, I realized that I could write about albums that have the same color in their cover art! So here we go:

Forget all that "women in rock" junk that plagued this phase of S-K's career, and that most critics had a lukewarm response to AHOTBO. This is one of the masterworks in their catalog, almost like the Stones' Exile on Mainstreet or the Clash's London Calling in terms of importance. Like London Calling, it makes a statement while still remaining musical. "Youth Decay" is one of the most intense, incendiary songs you'll ever hear, "The Professional" demonstrates guitarist Carrie Brownstein's newfound mastery of special effects, and the "The Swimmer" is a haunting departure from their usual songwriting--much in the way "Silver" was for the Pixies. The textural interplay between Tucker and Brownstein's guitars and vocals are still here, but this album exudes a loose funky feel absent on previous works. And it's the last album where it sounds like they're still having fun.

We have AHOTBO on a big slab of vinyl (and some other S-K titles) here.

Now, if you happen to know what makes my mac & cheese that particular shade of orange, or know of another album cover has that color in its cover art, please leave me a comment so I have something to write about next time. Thanks. Enjoy the video.

1 comment:

David Brent Johnson said...

Thanks for touting this one--definitely a standout moment in an excellent catalogue, and probably my personal fave of all S-K records.