Sleater-Kinney “One Beat” CD (2002)
Details: Sleater-Kinney's sixth studio album (released on Kill Rock Stars in 2002). Canadian press of this CD. Used CD, NM, like new.
Description: "From the opening, off-kilter drum pattern of the title track, One Beat takes you on a log flume ride through a forest of monumental riffs-- a log flume ride, people! Witness the fretboard slides of "Hollywood Ending", the cocky strut of "Step Aside", the mighty, fist-pumping second half of "Combat Rock" (to which I'd like to just give a premature Forkie for Best Riff of the Year right now). Also, be forewarned that the drumstick-twirling coda of "Far Away" has been shown to provoke sudden miming of snare hits and windmill strums in laboratory animals.
Now, you might be hearing a lot of crazytalk from longtime S-K supporters that the new album is their most disappointing to date. Ignore it; fanbase discomfort is a common symptom of the breakthrough album, proving that the act has tweaked their formula far enough to piss off the vets who want their pet band to stay predictable. Kinney's definitely changed up the recipe (as they had already begun to do with All Hands on the Bad One), but all changes are positive, foremost being a new understanding of how restraint and scaling back can allow for exponentially increased rockage. "Combat Rock" and "The Remainder" stutter along a single riff, teasingly refusing to explode before building to a tantric peak. "Light Rail Coyote" and "O2" both come out with all engines blazing, but retreat to valleys of uncharacteristically subdued hush.
Also helping the cause is an increased singing role for Carrie Brownstein, who sounds more confident than ever sporting a fully developed hiccupy vocal character that plays off Tucker's wail like lime flavoring on Tostitos. For anyone of the opinion that Tucker's banshee act occasionally got out of hand on older S-K material, Brownstein's participation is welcome news for your fragile eardrums. The latest model of the Janet Weiss percussion-cyborg sings a bit, too, but her main contribution is her incredibly melodic drums, strident and full-bodied as ever.
Meanwhile, the band breaks out the required accoutrements: horn section, strings, occasional keyboards. It might be predictable timing for the band to expand their sound, but it's handled delicately by producer John Goodmanson, who never allows the spice to overwhelm the dish (er, sonically speaking, of course). The slip-and-slide Moog on "Oh!" drives home the song's oh-woah-woah playfulness, "Step Aside"'s marching band brass lends its revolution beckoning an epic quality, and Sam Coomes' theremin on "Funeral Song" fulfills the FDA requirements for any tune that mentions haunted houses, demons, and Halloween." - Pitchfork
Grade: NM (Cover/CD)
CD TRACK LISTING:
1. One Beat
2. Far Away
4. The Remainder
5. Light-Rail Coyote
6. Step Aside
7. Combat Rock
9. Funeral Song
11. Hollywood Ending