Tuesday, September 20, 2005

New stuff, V

Sleater-Kinney- The Trees

I bought two Sleater-Kinney records, both of which I liked very much, then was kinda like ‘whatever.’ Never had any interest in picking up anything else because I assumed that the two slabs I had would be a nice representational cross-section of their body o’ work. I never disliked the band- always thought they were very good. Just didn’t have enough invested in them to keep buying their new records as they came out.

Cut to me wandering around Newbury Comics before work one day, listening to this fuzzed-out dinosaur thud coming out of the speakers. I walked over to the registers and took a peek at the album cover propped up in the ‘now playing’ display. Huh, I thought, Sleater-Kinney.

The final straw in my purchase was Ned bringing it over (twice, now) for Making Monday Tuesday. Sitting on the back porch, checking out what I thought was a one-dimensional band pulling in all these other sounds and styles. Sure, most of ‘em are pretty easily identified (blatant Zep rips, White Stripes production, effects, etc.) but this is a band that I assumed was going to keep mining a sound that they got right after a few albums- Corin’s yowling tremolo, Carrie’s matter-of-fact spoken/sung thing, the rattling treble of hollowbodies and kinetic ping-pong riffs on top of mad scientist drums. Who the fuck CARES that the new sounds are easily identified? The important thing here is that they branched out, took chances, and managed to make a tough, sonically impressive album that fits in the quiver but still has radically different sounds than the earlier stuff. This is a monster of a record- I would happily stand corrected but the juggernaut rolled over my dumb ass and I can’t move. I thought it was going to be cute and twee. Shit.

(Addendum 9/20/05: Yo Corin- Using “Land ho!” as a lyric on your record’s first song is SO 2000. Unless, of course, you’re just Being A Criminal, in which case that shit = hilarious. Did you ever listen to Garrison, Corin?)

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