We didn't make a tape, because you'd wear it out.
"The Ballad of a Ladyman," the opening track on Sleater-Kinney's fifth release, boasts "I could be demure like girls who are soft for boys who are fearful of getting an earful / But I gotta rock!" And rock they do; All Hands on the Bad One
's lineup of twitchy but forceful rock songs bests the band's previous releases. The delicious tri-vocal charges of Carrie Brownstein, Corin Tucker, and Janet Weiss spider-webs all over their corner of rock, careening in all directions but unifying to make a beautiful design. Most obvious on this release is the band's yearning to slip free of the surly bonds of punk. The seesaw guitar riff in "Ladyman" is arena-ready, and the group's harmonizing reaches new heights of "Hey, cool!" on "The Professional" and "Milkshake and Honey." Or, to put it in stricter terms, All Hands on the Bad One
is a whole lotta fun. --Jason Josephes