2000, Music

All Hands on the Bad One (2000) by Sleater-Kinney

I like this band. I really like their aesthetic and I like their songs. But, at some point, I’ve come to realize that they are an AC/DC type band rather than a band that is concerned with making big artistic strides on each record. (I should probably pick a bett4er comparison given AC/DC’s lyrics, but the point I am making is about the music.), That’s fine, they’re very good at what they do. But it’s also not my favourite thing in the world.

This is a pretty good set of songs. I can only compare it to the few other records I’ve heard of theirs and say that it’s up to snuff in that regard. But the thing about bands like this is that the quality of the album depends almost entirely on the quality of the songs. And I like these but I also can’t tell you where this set ranks in their catalogue because I have heard only about half of their albums at this point.

As always, the aesthetic is great and it’s what most of us come for. Tucker and Brownstein’s vocals provide the usual push-pull between energy and melody that is a feature of their style. And, as usual, their guitar interplay is excellent. (You never miss the bass with them.) The performances are full of energy, as they always are. And given that it’s a good set of songs, that makes it even better.

And, as usual, the record sounds good. This is a band that knows how to record themselves (or works with people who know how) and you don’t have to worry that they will do something stupid to ruin their incredible dynamics. (I have not seen them live but I assume they would be great. Well, I would have assumed that prior to their latest record, which I have yet to hear.)

But, at this point, there is an extremely strong sense of deja vu. I like the band, I like the songs, but I’ve heard this album before. And the more times they put out similar albums, the harder I have giving each of those albums I like a “very good” rating.

They are an excellent band. This is probably one of their better albums. It also sounds a hell of a lot like their previous albums.


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