Dig Me Out (1997) by Sleater-Kinney

Categories: 1997 and Music.

The songwriting has improved here – the arrangements feel tighter and the hooks are  arguably stronger. This is only the second record of theirs I’ve heard, so I’m not sure I can argue that it is their best (I believe it has that reputation) but if you are looking for 90s punk that still feels like punk (as opposed to some bleached, broish imitation of punk), this is where you should go looking for it. Good stuff. 8/10 Read More

Pretty on the Inside (1991) by Hole

Categories: 1991 and Music.

This is a noisy, abrasive set of songs which manages to be significantly more noisy than most of the other grunge bands of the era, at least on record.. That feels like even more of an accomplishment given the expectations around a female-fronted band at the time. I can’t say that I love the songs all that much, but I appreciate the seeming unwillingness to compromise (which seems to have been revealed as something very different through interviews). Pretty great stuff. 8/10 Read More

Reject All American (1996) by Bikini Kill

Categories: 1996 and Music.

This record starts off as serious Riot Girrrrl (angrier than any I’ve heard before) but then takes a weird detour into Tsunami-style slowcore (albeit played a lot faster…). It’s an odd combination that somehow works in spite of the rather radical changes in tone and energy. The songs aren’t as good as Sleater-Kinney’s, but there’s still a lot to like here. 7/10 Read More

Call the Doctor (1996) by Sleater-Kinney

Categories: 1996 and Music.

This is my first encounter with Sleater-Kinney and, unfortunately, Riot Grrrl in general. And the first impression is positive. It’s just punk but, unlike so much ’90s punk, it still sounds hard – such as the screams on the title track – rather than obnoxious and faux-British. And this is a strong set of songs for music so consciously noisy. So that’s good too. 8/10 Read More