Call the Doctor
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This was the band's critical breakthrough and, not surprisingly, also the band's strongest collection of songs until The Hot Rock.
It always pays to put some thought and muscle into your songwriting and this album is proof. Corin doesn't have to scream as much to be heard (when she does, though, on "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone", it arrests your attention because she isn't doing it on every song anymore); arrangements and performances can be subtle (eg. on that simple two-note riff to the bridge of "Call the Doctor", the quiet guitars on the verse to "Joey Ramone", the backing vocals on "Stay Where You Are", the sparse, effective "Hubcap"), and the band shines through with unshowy, rock-solid prowess.
To call this "punk rock" is too simple. Both Call the Doctor and The Hot Rock transcend the punk roots of Sleater-Kinney's individual members into something far more lasting and evocative. For all the yelling and controversy the riot grrls aspired to (eg. Tribe 8's ridiculous, sensationalistic act, Bikini Kill's mouthy Kathleen Hanna, Courtney Love baring her breasts left and right), this is the truly worthy legacy left by the female punk movement: Brilliant music that makes you feel the beating of your own heart; messages that transcend gender lines; full-fledged proof that women are equals to men in rock, without ever having to say anything overt about it. Sleater-Kinney don't mouth off with empty slogans -- it shows you what it means, and convinces you by its undeniable ability.
CALL THE DOCTOR is my favorite Sleater-Kinney album, but that isn't to say anything bad about the five albums that came after. Employing the Pitchforkmedia rating system, I would give around a 9.4 to CALL THE DOCTOR, and between 8.0 and 9.2 to the next five (which is actually pretty close to what Pitchfork gives them, which, again, no other band I know can match). Other people will prefer ONE BEAT or THE WOODS or DIG ME OUT, but I just like the hooks of CALL THE DOCTOR a bit more than the others. But I truly do consider all six of their post-debut albums--CALL THE DOCTOR (1996), DIG ME OUT (1997), THE HOT ROCK (1999), ALL HANDS ON THE BAD ONE (2000), ONE BEAT (2002), and THE WOODS (2005)--to be absolutely essential.Read more ›
IT IS BETTER THAN GOOD! It's EXCELLENT! From the stanza of "Call The Docotor" ... "they want to socialize you....dignify, analyze, terrorize you" I was hooked! Who wouldn't be? SK personifies all the emotions of any under-dog of society (or so they make us out to be), no matter who they may be (female, abused, ethinic, etc.) and screams, plays and ROCKS them into a complete fruition of being. This band should have gotten a Grammy for this fine example of punk rock agression mixed with sympathetic/empathetic emotion.
Then I heard "Good Things" and my world transformed. I instantly related the song to my current state and found the strength to move on to something more productive and healthy besides a messed up (I'm being quite tame) realtionship. "Getting better, worse, I cannot tell..." says it all. "Why do good things never want to stay?", well, I guess I will never know the answer to that, but thanks to SK I know that even the bad has an alternate side that will sometimes purge itself out. "This time I wiil be alright, this time I will be ok..." are words that I will take with me to my grave.
This band was able to transcend pure enlightment to me in the course of a CD....do I need to say more? Did I mention the other songs? I don't even need too.
Just buy it! It's well worth it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gave away my copy 10 years ago. Finally replaced it. Best album by Sleater-Kinney and one of the best "Riot Grrl" recordings as well.Published 14 months ago by amore_zon
I mainly bought this album so I could have a copy of "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" and I definitely got that. Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by You Mean That Guy
CALL THE DOCTOR: This album is a masterpiece of all things sonic, queer, and emotion excavation. It's really that simple. Read morePublished on September 25, 2010 by Holly Robbins
Maybe I started out in the wrong place with Sleater-Kinney, but after being underwhelmed by "Dig Me Out" and "The Hot Rock" I was about to give up on the band. Read morePublished on September 4, 2008 by Josh L. Patrick-Riley
Take Cheap Trick, Patti Smith, the Ramones and feminist rage and put them in a blender, and this is what you come out with. Read morePublished on December 9, 2007 by finulanu
Sleater-Kinney one of the better Punk Rock Bands of the 1990s. These Girls have something to say.. hailing from Olympia- They're an All - Girl later 'riot grrrl' act inspired by... Read morePublished on May 3, 2007 by Chris G.
This is one of the craftiest, most intelligent and still downright behind-kicking albums that I've ever heard. Read morePublished on March 27, 2007 by D. Lee
S-K's first album has one great song ("Slow Song") but Call the Doctor is the one where you hear them separating themselves from the rest of the riot grrrl pack. Read morePublished on March 22, 2006 by Ryan M. Moore