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Sleater-Kinney - Call the Doctor (Cover Artwork)

Sleater-Kinney

Sleater-Kinney: Call the DoctorCall the Doctor (1996)
Chainsaw

Reviewer Rating: 4.5


Contributed by: JeloneJelone
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Sleater-Kinney has often been called the lady version of Fugazi. Setting aside the gender politics that statement brings up and the fact that they didn't have any dub influences, I tend to agree, if only for one reason: Like Fugazi, Sleater-Kinney are incorruptible. They never needed mainstream supp.
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Sleater-Kinney has often been called the lady version of Fugazi. Setting aside the gender politics that statement brings up and the fact that they didn't have any dub influences, I tend to agree, if only for one reason: Like Fugazi, Sleater-Kinney are incorruptible. They never needed mainstream support, toured like crazy, kept dropping one hot shit album after another to the point that we took it for granted, broke up before they got stale but still left behind a generous, rocking discography. Sleater-Kinney equals Batman.

Call the Doctor was an early success for the band, and while what they did later would surpass this effort, it remains a stirring collection of '90s punk/indie rock. The band could have broken up then and there after drummer Lora Macfarlane left and still had a legacy.

If nothing else, check out "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone." Everybody needs to love the Ramones, and this tune about wanting to be adored by rock ‚??n' roll fans is A) kinda true and B) thoroughly rocking. Call the Doctor is loaded with alt hits, but "I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone" is the one with name recognition.

There are certain elements that define Sleater-Kinney. Intertwining guitar assaults, big drums, bigger voices. The band got increasingly indebted to classic rock, culminating in swansong The Woods, but at the time of Doctor, singers Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker were in their early 20s. They could play as all heck, but compared to where they went musically, Doctor saw them still learning how to play, so to speak. So all those big, epic elements that defined the band are still very raw, still forming. It makes Doctor a searing affair, because there's no filter. Tucker's pipes aren't quite where they are now, but there's still something spine-tingling about hearing go after these big, open-hearted assaults like on "I'm Not Waiting" or "Call the Doctor."

Call the Doctor is an ideal starting point for new SK fans. It's not the best Sleater-Kinney album, but it's the stronger of the two pre-Janet Weiss albums. It showcases the band in a more primal setting, and if you want to see the fruits of riot grrrl's labor, this is just as good an introduction as anything Bikini Kill ever did.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
jizzo (July 27, 2012)

PORTLANDIA!!!!

jizzo (July 27, 2012)

PORTLANDIA!!!!

SilentStorms (July 27, 2012)

I don't need to love the Ramones. I appreciate what they did for music, but I wouldn't listen to them.

ollywood (July 24, 2012)

"McFarlane's chops just make you appreciate all the more the supernaturalness of Janet Weiss."

I always liked how they titled "Lora's Song," on their S/T. I like to think of it as Carrie and Corin trying to distance themselves from it.

MONTEAM (July 24, 2012)

Learn all about the Ramones in the book;
‚??ON THE ROAD WITH THE RAMONES‚?Ě.
Throughout the remarkable twenty-two-year career of the Ramones the seminal punk rock band, Rock ‚??n‚?? Roll Hall of Famers and Recording Academy Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winners Monte A. Melnick saw it all. He was the band‚??s tour manager from their 1974 CBGB debut to their final show in 1996. Now, in this NEW UPDATED EDITION he tells his story. Full of insider perspectives and exclusive interviews and packed with over 250 personal color photos and images; this is a must-have for all fans of the Ramones.

eatbicycles (July 24, 2012)

I always assumed any discussion of Call the Doctor had to include some mention of how fucking amazing is "Good Things."
Also "Heart Attack," what a great song.

McFarlane's chops just make you appreciate all the more the supernaturalness of Janet Weiss.

elliot (July 24, 2012)

"Good Things" remained one of the most emotive songs they ever did.

Great review, though I'd maybe knock it down from a 9 to an 8, just in the context of what they would go on to do.

Rastid (July 24, 2012)

one of my all-time favorites.

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