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September 2002 : Sleater Kinney, X-Ray Spex, Pretty Girls Make Graves, ...

· Sleater Kinney : One Beat (Kill Rock Stars) .Carrie, Corin and Janet strike back.... and this time, they brought some friends along, so beware, Shakira! And here I am again, on my knees! How do they do that? No, I am not gonna write about the new maturity of SK, the one critics flatter them with every time they release an album. I would rather talk about their everlasting artistic creative freedom in constant evolution.... basically, I am saying the same thing as everybody else, are you gonna say. Well, to my defense I would say that in a way, we are back to some more gutty S-K after a not so impressive All Hands on the Bad One album (but that's my opinion too). The perfect lyrics ('take me to the source of chaos let me be the butterfly/imperfect symmetry has underlying poetry and rhyme') burst as a wave in a complex mixture of voices (with help from their friend Stephen Trask on 'Prisstina') and meet the finest sounds, more and more elaborated. Their usual 2 guitars, one drum set-up has been, on some song, experimented with a few additional musicians and instruments here and there (Steve Fisk on keyboard, Brent Arnold on string arrangement and cello, Jen Charowhas on violin, Stephen Fisk on synthesizer and vocals, to mention only some). A very rich, very 'S-K' musical texture with a nicely completed work on vocals that turn prisms into a kaleidoscope, and I am telling you, Greil Marcus would not say the contrary! Nothing has been lost of the free, DIY, punk attitude from the Olympia-Portland line. While paying tribute to the English forefathers and foremothers (I know this word doesn't exist… 'ever wondered why?): 'Combat Rock' or the Clash spirit goes American some decades later when Bush replaced Thatcher as target, and the world turned upside down one September day on 'Far Away'). If you're still not convinced of the punkpopart references of these girls, well check out the cut-ups-collage influenced art work of the cover… designed and executed by Anna Wright's expert hands. To make a long story short: go and get this record, you need it, you want it, you deserve it (and so does your neighbor, so that he knows the 'funeral song' when time is ripe!), you can dance on it (all songs), cry on it ('Funeral song' beats them all, especially if you're heartbroken...'lowering the coffin on a love gone wrong/buried the hope I wanted to stay'), sing and scream along.Oh, and by the way, I don't know about your, but 'Prisstina' and 'Funeral song' are inverted on my vinyl....Just in case it's one of the question on next version of T.P.·

X ray Spex : Germ free Adolescents (Artificial Product rec.). All the punk feminists anthems are on this album. Poly Styrene, the young teenager with brasses who invaded the British Punk scene in the end of the 70s screams her anger at the cheap consuming society and the loss of identity ('Art-I-Ficial', 'Plastic Bag', 'I'm a Cliche', among others) as well as the oppressive sexism that seemed to be perpetrated even in a so-called 'freedom-oriented rebellious' punk community (that's her criticism and of course it's not so Manichean reality, but I wasn't there, so I'd better shut up). 'Oh Bondage Up Yours' is one of the most (if not THE most) important punk song. A fresh, youthful sound, surprisingly clean considering the amateur credo (which makes me wonder if it was as unprofessional as it pretends it was…but let's not kill our idols right now, since they were inspiring to so many other people). The track was covered by Free Kitten and Heaven to Betsy, among many others. Do you need any more reason to look for the album ?·

Pretty Girls make Graves : Pretty Girls Make Graves. 4 tracks to rock your feet! This was released before they got signed on Look Out! Rec and you understand why they did. If you missed them live in Oslo (Aug 2002) and you don't have enough money for the excellent Good Health album (Look Out! Rec), you have to hear this raw power-pop-punk-new-no-wave-whatever-you-wanna-call-it. It feels so good it can make you blush! This band is pure alchemy, and Andrea, you scream shiny gold !!!·

Submission Hold : Waiting for another Monkey to throw the first rock. It was released a while ago, but I thought you might want to check it out.... Utterly alternative melodic-punk-post-punk-core with very strong feminist positions (although their concerts are always mainly attended by guys... where are you, punk girls? Listening to Blink 1234567890?). They are located in Vancouver, Canada, well, when they are not touring the alternative venues of the capitalist oh-so-wonder-land, that is. Amazing male-females vocal combination ranging from lullaby to screams, and in the back ground, behind the drum, bass, guitars, no less than a rocking clarinette! 'The Source of Fuck' is an excellent example of their talent ('this cunt has a voice'), so plug in, pump up the volume and enjoy.


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