1999, Music

The Hot Rock (1999) by Sleater-Kinney

For a band such as Sleater-Kinney, I guess this record is a pretty radical departure form their previous sound. I mean, normally you do not expect bands like this to change their sound much record to record.

The songs are perhaps a little more sophisticated, though I’m not sure that’s it, though they’re definitely different. I’m not sure replacing chords with individual notes actually means it’s more sophisticated. I guess it just sounds that way to me.

The lyrics are effective, as ever. I’ve never thought too hard about their lyrics because of their performances – I have a high tolerance for bad lyrics if the performance is good – but also because I think the female perspective is pretty underrepresented in music, especially this kind of music. But when I do pay attention, they always strike me as good enough.

The real draw, as always, is the performances. Here, they are slower, more subdued than most of their previous songs. It’s a relatively radical change, as I said earlier, and it works entirely.

As usual, I like the way the record sounds. I’ve yet to heart one of their albums with distracting production, something I always appreciate, especially when so much of the appeal of the music relies on the energy of the performances.

Good stuff.


All music composed by Sleater-Kinney.

  1. “Start Together” 2:38
  2. “Hot Rock” 3:17
  3. “The End of You” 3:20
  4. “Burn, Don’t Freeze” 3:19
  5. “God Is a Number” 3:44
  6. “Banned from the End of the World” 2:09
  7. “Don’t Talk Like” 3:04
  8. “Get Up” 3:46
  9. “One Song for You” 2:49
  10. “The Size of Our Love” 3:12
  11. “Living in Exile” 2:31
  12. “Memorize Your Lines” 3:10
  13. “A Quarter to Three” 4:03
  • Carrie Brownstein – guitar, vocals
  • Corin Tucker – vocals, guitar
  • Janet Weiss – drums, percussion, vocals

Additional Musicians:

  • Seth Warren – violin on “The Size of Our Love” and “Memorize Your Lines”
  • Roger Moutenot – slide guitar on “A Quarter to Three”

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