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All Hands on the Bad One
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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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love All Hands. A lot. I've owned every digital version so far and when the remasters hit I was a little impressed with what I thought was a slightly richer mix. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Thomas Ford
I couldn't find my cd (probably over 10 years old or so now) that I hoped to add to my digital collection but this one has better sound quality anyway. Read morePublished on June 21, 2014 by Jessica
if your ears could smell crap that's the sensation you'd get. I can't understand how anyone can judge this mouseketeer, garage band done by middle school kids whose parents bought... Read morePublished on January 15, 2012 by Jo deane
I'm not that familiar with Sleater-Kinney which may make me a more credible reviewer than someone caught up with their personal histrionics. Read morePublished on July 30, 2011 by Scott B. Saul
I think this is definitely one of the finest things to have come out of the riot grrl movement, even though many might split hairs and classify Sleater-Kinney as a "post riot grrl"... Read morePublished on January 9, 2011 by bessie
I love this album. S-K changed my life and this is a great place to start to learn about this amazing band. If you like drums this is also a great album to check out. Read morePublished on March 30, 2010 by G. Drechsel
LOVE IT <3
I picked this up from the library and instantly fell in love with this band.
This is the stuff that rock 'n' roll dreams are made of. I mean, this album has thirteen songs on it, and all of them explode with the kind of animal exuberance, melodic violence,... Read morePublished on September 14, 2008 by Laszlo Matyas