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Old 08-16-2019, 01:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Marie’s ARC Pick: Sleater-Kinney: The Centre Won’t Hold

Our new queer princess the delightfully delicious Marie has chosen

Sleater-Kinney: The Centre Won’t Hold
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Old 08-16-2019, 03:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I also haven't heard it yet of course, I'm so exited! Gonna listen and review later today
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Old 08-16-2019, 02:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ok, here we go. My first impression:
It all starts out quite strong and ominous. They’re good at making strong, bold opening statements. Hurry On Home is a nice follow up: and infusion of energy after the gloomy bombast of the first song. Carrie is at her best here: the song makes good use of both the goofiness and odd, sensual fullness of her voice. It is already clear here that SK is moving further towards pop, which lies at the core of what I think of the album. Sleater-Kinney has always been an acquired taste to average ears; with this album they might be trying to make their sound more immediately accessible. That’s fine in itself, but my worry is that by doing that in this particular way, they discard much of what makes them unique and interesting, especially the layered and intertwined guitars and singing (although the intertwined lyrics have been given up since the Woods), and the dynamic energy of Janet’s drumming. There’s still plenty of things that I like about the album though, for instance the unsubtle, dynamic opening of Bad Dance (the rest of the song does not live up to it, however), and Can I Go On is a good example of the poppy sound working for them. It’s clear, straightforward and catchy. I expected some politics, because it’s Sleater-Kinney, and indeed I suspect that RUINS is political. I’m prejudiced against political songs, but this one is not too bland or preachy, and I quite like the bombastic quivering chords.
In conclusion, they mostly still have their force and inventiveness, luckily. And if they choose to make simpler, more accessible music, they can make some damn fine pop. However, it causes them often to lose their special spark. Quite a good album, but not on par with their previous work.
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Old 08-18-2019, 08:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yesterday I listened to several 2019 releases and if there wasn’t so much interesting stuff going on I wouldn’t be so ambivalent about this. Name recognition alone isn’t enough to elbow into my heart. They’re old now and they sound it. In general, the best of the Olympian scene was released on K.

I have some experience with Evergreen College and Olympia. I saw a lot of those bands live and drove up or down from either Portland or Seattle to check out the scene. Back then, all you had to do was walk around a college town and you’d be invited for a beer a bong hit a party. I did that in Boulder, Athens, Auburn and tried it more than once at Evergreen in Olympia. Back then everyone in Evergreen had the same dark green jacket and backpack. Simply not wearing the goddamn uniform kept you away from the kegs. The riotgrrrl scene was exclusionary like a high school clique. They weren’t even middle class. They were all from rich families and raised in very strict academic environments. They were really the feminist version of Brett Kavanaugh style top shelf school elitism and their exclusionary rich white makes right was cut from the same cloth. These were the types who turned their noses up at the people who washed their dishes and cleaned their toilets and they were so self-absorbed in their imaginary oppression that they didn’t even know what they were doing.

Except for Lois.

And notice Lois never really identified with their bs


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Old 08-19-2019, 12:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's really interesting that you were there. I suspected the riot grrrl scene to be elitarist and exclusive, Carrie Brownstein als complains about that somewhere in hindsight. And of course there is Hole's song Olympia. I myself feel ambivalent about most things riot grrrl, but I still love much of the music, and definitely Sleater-Kinney. I'll listen to Lois later, I think I'll like it
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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elitist *******s make the best music especially if they put on an air of populism
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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my problem with Sleater-Kinney has always been that the production is too clean, pretty much the case here too

I swear they produce their albums like they're Top 40 as of late

their guitar tones have no bite when they get distorted

I thought the album opener was pretty great though
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Old 08-22-2019, 08:58 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Riot Grrrl was the best movement of the 90's

I want Bratmobile to spit in my face for asking to go to their keg party

they burned the mother****ing house down

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Old 08-22-2019, 10:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't care about politics in music. However music and politics do have one thing in common they are both forms of escapism. I really don't know, don't care too much about Grrrl Riot. I guess I overlooked most Grrrl Riot bands. I am not one to explore a sub-genre for the sake of it. However I do have an interest in all female indie bands. There are a few groups in the 90s. either all girl bands or female fronted bands that I liked e.g. Babes in Toyland or The Muffs (respectively).

My six degrees of separation from Grrrl Riot: I quickly scan what bands were part of that scene, and was surprised to see Jack off Jill listed as one (not that I know much about them, but I like their singer). The vocals/lyricist from JoJ was Jessicka and she later went to front Scarling.. I really don't know how Riot Grrrl JoJ were, I've seen other places where JoJ are considered as a "Riot Goth-Girl" group. Scarling. have their sound described as both Noise and Goth.

Scarling. - Crispin Glover


I've read where St. Vincent produced The Centre Won’t Hold. So that piques my curiosity. So far I don't like the vocals. The music's OK. I got to find time to give it a proper listen.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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first wave punk was still male dominated with the female acts like Sioux and The Slits and X-Ray moving away from the stripped down sound

and women are pretty much totally absent in hardcore

Riot Grrrl gave us the missing link
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