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The Hot Rock

4.3 out of 5 stars 90 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 23, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The hotly-awaited fourth album produced, recorded and mixed by Roger Moutenot, who focuses the band's energy on their unrivaled blend of rock and roll elements and pure fire girl punk.

It's a general rule in the music industry that the faster you rise to stardom, the faster you slide into oblivion. In the terrifyingly fickle world of rock criticism, the high acclaim that met Sleater-Kinney's first two albums would indicate that only simple neglect was due to them upon the release of The Hot Rock. But the women of Sleater-Kinney continue to defy the norms of rock & roll with an album of such distinctive graces that it approaches the status of classic. In each of the album's 13 tracks, the band's development from fierce grrrls to musical icons rings out loud and clear. The guitar work of Carrie Brownstein has never been more provocative and exact, summoning up the wiry deftness of Television's Tom Verlaine. Her "Burn, Don't Freeze" has a dry, discordant guitar line that weaves itself between the dueling vocals of both singers. The signature scorch of Corin Tucker's singing now modulates between the soft calls of the slow dance "A Quarter to Three" and the nuclear blast of the antitechnology "God Is a Number." The larger-than-life "The End of You" showcases the finest work from Brownstein, Tucker, and drummer Janet Weiss. As befitting its nautical themes, the song is oceanic and mercurial, gliding through its movements with all the drama of the mutiny it describes. The Hot Rock is exactly like the diamond of the title--hard, beautiful, and full of mysterious allure. --Lois Maffeo

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Start Together
  2. Hot Rock
  3. The End Of You
  4. Burn, Don't Freeze!
  5. God Is A Number
  6. Banned From The End Of The World
  7. Don't Talk Like
  8. Get Up
  9. One Song For You
  10. The Size Of Our Love
  11. Living In Exile
  12. Memorize Your Lines
  13. A Quarter To Three

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 23, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Kill Rock Stars
  • ASIN: B00000HF6J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,788 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on February 26, 1999
Format: Audio CD
The first time I heard Sleater-Kinney I was immediately hooked on Corin Tucker's voice, the unbridled yell, so honest and pure indicated that here was a group with something different. When I first played The Hot Rock, I relaxed in the soothing familiar territory I had been exposed to, but this was something different. Dig Me Out was the gates of the minds of these three women, The Hot Rock is the center of that. At first listen, I thought they had proceeded past their prime, but these women are only beginning to realize themselves. Carrie Brownstein's guitar electrifies with precision, Janet's drums keep the songs together, without her the songs would not work. Not only do we get to hear the energy of Corin's voice, but Carrie Brownstein comes in to many songs, often inter-weaving voices, which is so natural that it becomes one whole part, one person alone. Carrie's solo effort on the album, The Size of Our Love, is so brutally honest I only hope she contributes more in later albums. Not only have Sleater-Kinney have grown, and become one whole group, they are now just hitting their stride. This is what music is about, conveying thoughts and actions into sound. Sleater-Kinney do it so brilliantly I am grateful to be able to experience their music, and only hope people will realize that these three women comprise one of the greatest bands of the decade.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm glad that a lot of people who have written reviews of "The Hot Rock" are disappointed by it or don't "get it". Sleater-Kinney isn't for everyone but to me there are few bands that are better than them. I don't see S-K filling stadiums or being played at frat parties. They're a small band with a small loyal following and that's fine by me. I have never been a big fan of the so-called "Riot Grrl" movement that S-K emerged from. Bikini Kill, Huggy Bear, et. al. left a bad taste in my mouth. Too narrow-minded and one-dimensional in their approach to music. If you heard one song, you heard them all. This isn't the case with Sleater-Kinney. Somehow they have created music that is both powerful and beautiful. Why people call S-K "punk" is beyond me. I associate punk with primitive, noisy, abrasive sounding music. Sleater-Kinney on the other hand is melodic with each song sounding unique and entrancing. Sure, Corin and Carrie tend to yell a lot of their lyrics instead of "sing" but it works with the music that goes along with it. Their forth album, "The Hot Rock", is an almost perfect album. I listen to it constantly. It's on par with "Dig Me Out", Sleater-Kinney's third and most critically praised album. The only setback for them is the title song, "Hot Rock". But that song is better than the best output of a thousand other bands. That's how good Sleater-Kinney is. For anyone curious as to what S-K is about, I suggest buying "Dig Me Out". After that turns you on to the band, then come back here and marvel at the brillance that is "The Hot Rock".
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan from the beginning, and this is my favorite Sleater-Kinney album (though THE WOODS is now vying for the title!). The others always get talked up more than this, arguably their most intimate and painful record. I don't know if it's the production, the lyrics, or the music itself, but this record always feels to me like a secret whispered by your best friend in a dark bedroom late at night and long ago, or a kiss from someone you know you can't hold onto. The technique of Corin and Carrie singing two different lyrics at the same time is in itself a feminist statement -- you cannot pin us down, we are both at once. Although I loved their records before this, THE HOT ROCK is The One that made me fall IN love with them.
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By Hapworth on September 11, 1999
Format: Audio CD
When I first bought this cd, I almost foolishly dismissed it as being a disappointing follow-up to Dig Me Out. Thank God for repeated listenings!!! Yes, as some negative reviews have pointed out, the hooks aren't as obvious on this record as Dig Me Out--but they're there all right! I find myself continually mesmerized by the intertwining lyrics, the off-kilter, slightly choppy rhythems, the dueling melody lines. Get Up is a terrific example. One can listen to Get Up for its complexities, yet at the same time one can appreciate it for its pure pop churn.
I read in Punk Planet that the women in SK come into songwriting sessions with pieces of songs and then all of them patch these pieces together into a dazzling sort of quilt. The songs on The Hot Rock reflect this. The off-kilter beats, layered guitar exchanges and intertwining lyrics all somehow work; the women in SK have fashioned a strange kind of musical beast that not only is able to walk, but swagger.
Sleater-Kinney is the future of rock music. Those who complain about the stagnant music scene need only turn their heads west towards the Pacific. Also, as a male listener, I'm not at all abashed to say that some of the finest pop music of the last 5+ years has come from female bands (Bikini Kill's and Heavens to Betsy's Calculated are always close to my CD player). And I get a strange thrill by listening to these female groups that are recording songs aimed primarily at OTHER females! I'm well aware that I'm on the outside looking in, and as much as I love these bands, there's an emotional (dare I use the cliched term "spiritual") connection which I can only imagine--rather than honestly feel--in terms of how these incredible bands must SPEAK to the very riot-punk soul of their female fans. Nevertheless, whether I'm in the loop or cut off from it, I cannot help but listen in, too...and smile!
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