The Raincoats The Raincoats

[Rough Trade; 1980]

Styles:  post-punk
Others: The Slits, Erase Errata, The Breeders,

Post-punk and anything else with the 'post' pre-fix is an increasingly dirty word among reactionary armchair cultural commentators. Yes, over the past few years there has been a resurgence of bands aping a sound that had its original heyday during the late '70s and early '80s. And yes, maybe the 'rock' kids are starting to suffer from physical exhaustion now that dancing is the must behavior among the once stoic, head nodding, vintage t-shirt wearing masses. But a point is frequently being missed when people start dismissing the genre.

Post-punk isn't just barking vocals mixed with cow bells, angular guitars, and heavy bass lines. It's about the possibility of passionate, creative, potentially limitless, experimental freedom. It's the essence of the D.I.Y. anyone can form a band by knowing three chords punk ethos grown up. A sort of, “Hey everyone, I learned my three chords and started a band, now lets see what I can really fucking do.”

The Raincoats self titled debut album is a shining example of the ripe musical possibilities available in the aftermath of the late '70s punk explosion. A collection of oddball rhythms, slightly off key girl harmonies, a violin (instrumental mish-mashing was rare in the punk days) and one truly stellar and unique cover of the Kinks “Lola.” It's forward thinking experimental rock with a deceptively simple veneer that when stripped back reveals a pulsing heart of accessible avant-garde folk influenced punk rock. All performed by four women, at a time when an all girl band in the male dominated punk scene was a rarity. This isn't music to make the rock kids dance to, this is music made by rock kids who decided to embrace the freedom on offer and run with it for as long and as far as they could. Taking their influences and squeezing them together into a passionate new that screams of possibility. It's not about fashion, it's not about an attitude and it's not about dancing (though it can be if you want it to be). It's about creating, experimenting, having a laugh and trying to get as many people involved as possible. For that one reason, and many others better left heard then read about, this album is essential.

1. Fairytale In The Supermarket
2. No Side to Fall In
3. Adventures Close To Home
4. Off Duty Trips
5. Black And White
6. Lola
7. The Void
8. Life On The Line
9. You're A Million
10. In Love
11. No Looking

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