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All Hands on the Bad One
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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 JosephesSee all Editorial Reviews
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Top Customer Reviews
So once it arrived, I dug into this album with relish. After about three tracks, my mind started to wander. Is it because of the return of John Goodmanson as producer? Is it because of a lack of musical ideas? Is it that Carrie Brownstein's very lacklustre collaboration with Mary Timony in The Spells drained her of inspiration? Or is it another in a series of Sleater-Kinney experiments, this time backfiring?
In any case, All Hands on the Bad One is the least interesting Sleater-Kinney album since the band's eponymous debut, sounding lax, unfocused and barely formed. Melodies meander and don't pay off, resulting in song structures that sound very disorienting. Corin Tucker's voice is now an uneasy amalgam of the confident, understated vocal of The Hot Rock and the shrieking punk priestess of Dig Me Out -- neither here nor there. Carrie Brownstein's guitars are mixed so far into the background that they might as well be a keyboard, and Janet Weiss, also massively hurt by the very unappealing mix, ceases to be the dynamo that she was on the past two albums, for once sounding unsure and timid.
This is a shame, for The Hot Rock got me to think that this band was on its way to rise right into the stratosphere of artistic greatness. All Hands on the Bad One is a slide in quality in all fronts except lyrics, where the band retains its Hot Rock standards. On all other fronts, it sounds like Sleater-Kinney needs to regroup and re-evaluate.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I picked this up from the library and instantly fell in love with this band.Read more