30
Jun 00

SLEATER-KINNEY

I Hate Music1 comment • 726 views

Having “the rock” is often assumed to be a singularly male obsession. We chicks have got more important things to worry about that strapping on a set of leather strides, damaging our sleek body curves with ungainly guitar straps and standing with our legs 20 degrees apart. This is the misconception that Sleater-Kinney are here to batter down. They are chicks and they rock.

Well, actually no. Sleater-Kinney – a name more suited to a low rent one room law firm than a band – are merely the latest in a long line of trad rock bands peddling the fact they are women to give them that extra boost. For christ-sake, we had the Bangles, we don’t need another one. Of course the SK sound differs from the pop savvy nature of the mid-eighties girl band, but there is a direct line back to Suzi Quatro with all these groups. Okay, they don’t play on their looks (such as they are) because they are a proper, serious rock band. They do fast songs, they do slow songs but they do them all with a singular ineptitude. If they had put a bit of scratching on an early record they would probably be touted as the female Beastie Boys (oh hold on a second – that’s Luscious Jackson I’ve accidentally strayed on to).

My many years as a detached observer of pop music gives me the power to say that sex sells. The only thing that marks out Sleater-Kinney from The Dandy Warhols is that S-K are all woman. At least the Dandy Warhols appreciate that their female member is their biggest selling point, and she gets her kit off at every available opportunity. All the above may be a pretty generic set of criticisms to hang on just one band, but Sleater-Kinney Management Consultants have one more trick up their sleeve. It is quite common these days for girl bands to use the harmonising qualities of their voices to special effect. Sleater and indeed Kinney instead employ the member with the most caterwauling voice to bellow over the fast songs, scaring animals and small children wherever they go. I have seen the yelping on Little Babies make peoples ears bleed.

Still, let’s leave the last word to the girls themselves. The hint is in the album title. You buy their record and you will have All Hands On THE Bad Thing. It’s a bad thing. A very bad thing.

Comments

  1. 1
    ryan on 12 Dec 2006 #

    couldn’t agree more. . . . I utilize the mute button everytime their music is played

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