Monday, June 06, 2005

Sleater-Kinney - The Woods review

Sleater-KinneyThe Woods (2005, Sub Pop Records)

I never thought I’d say that Sleater-Kinney sounds like Phantom Planet, but as I was listening to the first few tracks on The Woods, I was reminded of the same blown-out rock sound of the revelation that was Phantom Planet’s self-titled second album. It started to make sense when I looked at the credits for The Woods and noticed that the producer was indeed David Fridmann, who had also produced that Phatom Planet album. He’s probably better known for his work on the flourish-heavy orchestral albums that he’s produced for the Flaming Lips, Mercury Rev and the Delgados, though he seems to be more interested in this big rock sound he’s now cultivating that sounds like it’s being played on stereo turned up much louder than the speakers can handle. Thus, he continues with the honor of being the Brian DePalma of indie rock, given his easily identifiable idiosyncrasies… and I mean that in the nicest of ways.

As for Sleater-Kinney, everything’s in place; Corin’s shredding vocals, Janet’s fierce drumming, Corin and Carrie’s dueling guitars. The album starts with “The Fox” which has an absolutely addictive drum beat. There’s the sweet, fuzzed-out “Modern Girl” and the usual grrl rock fun of “Entertain,” and then there’s the 11-minute “Let’s Call It Love” which has everyone on the internet screaming Led Zeppelin comparisons (even the promotional booklet that came with the CD name-drops Led Zep practically every other paragraph). All in all, it’s nice to hear that high level of ambition that SK still brings to each album.


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