Saturday, December 13, 2008

127. Sleater Kinney - One Beat

There are not a whole lot of women in my record collection. I don't know why this is, I guess I just never took to girl groups (or even mostly girl groups) the way I thought I was supposed to. This always made me feel vaguely guilty, as if I was a traitor to my gender by not embracing Heart and then, later on The Bangles, The Go-Gos , L7 or The Donnas. There were exceptions to this rule, of course; there was the Runaways, Drain STH and there was Sleater Kinney.

This was SK's second to last album and, I think, their best. The lyrics have more substance, the music is fuller and there's a resilient energy here that wasn't exactly missing from their previous albums, but was subdued. They find their voices here, they experiment with things that they just touched on in the past and they let it all out, loud and unabashed. From the pop friendly Oh! to the brooding bass (though it's not really a bass, but a toned down Rickenbacker) of Light Rail Coyote, this album is what pushes Sleater Kinney beyond the riot grrl label. And it's that specific song, Light Rail Coyote that encompasses everything good about this band; the musicianship, the harmonizing, the hard rock influence that lies beneath the pop punk layers.

To put it in some perspective if you've never heard the band before: Sleater Kinney is what the GoGos might have been if they based their career on Skidmarks on My Heart instead of Our Lips Are Sealed.

Favorite song: Light Rail Coyote
Farewell to an Iconic Band

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