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All Hands on the Bad One

94 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 2, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

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

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Ballad Of A Ladyman
  2. Ironclad
  3. All Hands On The Bad One (mp3)
  4. Youth Decay
  5. You're No Rock N' Roll Fun
  6. #1 Must Have
  7. The Professional
  8. Was It A Lie?
  9. Male Model
  10. Leave You Behind
  11. Milkshake N' Honey
  12. Pompeii
  13. The Swimmer

Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 2, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kill Rock Stars
  • ASIN: B00004RD8V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,227 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By John Orfield on June 23, 2000
Format: Audio CD
It's been a fun ride over the past few years, watching the evolution of Sleater-Kinney from a fairly standard riot grrrl group (still, it was always easy to spot the talent) to the absolute indie pop rock masters they are today. And here's the really amazing thing about Sleater-Kinney: their sound isn't all that revolutionary. There's a lot of Sonic Youth in here, and at times Carrie's Rickenbacker gives the songs a strange R.E.M./Pylon feel. So, no, they're not reinventing the wheel, but they play with such passion that you can't help but take notice. Janet's one of the best drummers around, Carrie's easily my favorite guitarist today and Corin-- Ah, Corin-- she just wraps her voice around words, turning them inside out, twisting two syllable words into six. They just compliment each other perfectly...
The lyrics have improved with each album an not coincidentally it seems like each album has been better than the last (although I still count The Hot Rock as my favorite S-K album). All Hands On The Bad One has all the feel of that last warm-up album before all hell breaks loose and Sleater-Kinney takes over the entire country the way Nirvana did in the early 90's. Maybe that's too much pressure to put on them, but All Hands proves they may be ready for it. It expands on the pop hooks they've honed over Dig Me Out and The Hot Rock, adding hand claps and more harmonies and, in the process, coming dangerously close to Veruca Salt territory on pop gems like You're No Rock In Roll Fun, the title track, and Leave You Behind.
Other highlights (for me): The sexy Milkshake n Honey building to a knee-quivering climax, the relentless Ironclad asking the musical question "What would you kill to make a heart stand still?
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Tom Madigan on December 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
There's a big difference between taking risks and indulging weaknesses, and Sleater-Kinney spend their fifth album dodging more bullets than you're comfortable with from the best band in rock.
They've always written too much about music and their place in it, and this time they overload with a half-dozen self-referential harangues about feminism in rock. The musical setting they choose all but abandons the deliberacy of 1999's awesomely strange The Hot Rock -- a few notable exceptions aside, this is a return to their riot grrrl roots, no less powerful but a bit less ambitious.
So the gods of disaster began sharpening their knives. But All Hands on the Bad One is not a disaster or even a misstep. It's actually one more step forward for a great band that hasn't stopped improving yet.
The trick is that Sleater-Kinney has indeed learned from The Hot Rock. Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker came of age then as guitarists, weaving in and out of each other's path with no bass player to mediate, and their playing on All Hands is wonderfully nonlinear. Some songs are relay races ("Ironclad"); others are tangles (the exquisite "Was it a Lie?" and the shimmery "The Swimmer"). Double-jointed guitar breaks that were fun at half the speed last time are thrilling now.
Both guitarists benefit from the sharpest production of their career, but not as much as drummer Janet Weiss -- with more room in the mix, she's more than ever the pivot, finding creative ways to shape the beat no matter how abruptly Brownstein and Tucker shift. Like Charlie Watts or Dave Grohl, she's the rare drummer who can give a tune body, even one as breakneck as the title track.
Tucker's singing shows the most growth.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John W. Florendo on May 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Terrific, dynamic and fun album. Sort of a culmination of their last three albums... Some songs confrontational like "Call the Doctor", others emotional, propulsive releases like much of "Dig Me Out" (still probably my favorite), and still others resemble the more reflective pieces of "The Hot Rock"... great sounding stuff, and much better mixed/engineered then the slightly washed out sound of "Hot Rock" to these ears. Great fusion of elements...which is partly what makes this band appealing in the first place. Corin Tucker's lead vocals are all over the place, being more seemingly playful than usual. First song, "Ballad of Ladyman", sets the mood perfectly: both coy and explosive, direct and wayward, with a great driving riff that comes together for a memorable finale (in less than three minutes?). Love this band, and after three listens, love this album. Another potential pop/punk masterwork from S-K.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By alison fields on July 1, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I don't know what to say about this band that hasn't already been said. With 1997's "Dig Me Out," Sleater-Kinney were admitted into an increasingly elite circle of indie/punk artists whose critical acclaim and extremely vocal fanbase was matched by their musical promise. Being a critical darling is tough enough without the added complications of hipster fickleness, punk rock politics, and a public still insisting, even quietly, that women in music belong in high heels and bustiers or in the center of the self-indulgent acoustic group-grope that is the Lillith Fair. Three years later, following 1999's disjointed "Hot Rock," Sleater-Kinney ditches experimentation for what seems at first blush, an extremely tight, unapologetic punk rock record. This is a fine synopsis, but despite catchiness and erstwhile declarations in "Ballad of a Lady Man" of "I gotta rock . . ," "All Hands On The Bad One" offers more than just power chords and grrrl anger. What separates S-K from the vast majority of their post-riot grrrl peers (and in fact, many of their labelmates) is their reluctance to sacrifice increased musical prowess for a affected ineptitude and the paired down aesthetic that subverts any real lasting impression on listening public. It is the fullness of "All Hands on the Bad One," the subtle complications in simple sounding songs, and the very fact that Sleater-Kinney has matured technically that makes this album so unique. There's a fairly even balance of tongue in cheek rock songs--"You're No Rock and Roll Fun," "All Hands On The Bad One," to slighty more politicized material "Was It A Lie?Read more ›
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