The Raincoats – The Raincoats (We ThRee) (sic!) (re-issue)
Apparently, this absolute classic of an album has been out of print for ten years. Which is quite worrying, considering what a landmark record it is. It’s also a matter of concern that it’s thirty years since it came out, which is worrying for reasons of a different aesthetic sort (more to do with Narcissus than Aphrodite, shall we say).
The Raincoats were an all-girl band who worte their own songs -as well as doing some phenomenal covers, in the late seventies and early eighties. They were politicised, feminist and inspirational. Not just to a young man in America called Kurt Cobain (who once said that reacquiring theis album meant more to him than making his first million); but also to the likes of Kim Gordon, the ‘Riot Grrrl’ movement and anyone who feel in love with the DIY aesthetic of the post-punk era.
While the review copy doesn’t have any of the special features…that’s actually irrelevant. Because the reason you need to own this record (and don’t just download a copy or get a mate to burn it for you), is that it’s phenomenal. Groundbreaking. In the same way as The Velvet Underground & Nico. And no, that’s not hyperbole. Yes, they were showing that girls could do it too (no shit), at the same time as the likes of Delta 5, The Slits (whom drummer Palmolive started out with), the Au Pairs et al, the songs here are phenomenal.
‘Adventures Close To Home’ (no, not the Slits’ song), ‘Fairytale In The Supermarket’ ‘Black and White’ – the latter complete with Sax from Laura Logic of X-Ray Spex/Essential Logic fame you need these songs in your life. Scratchy, demented, and still sounding fresh today. There’s the rather scary ‘Off Duty Trip’ -about a soldier whose conviction for rape was considered that it might affect his career in the military (don’t get me started), and their deconstruction of The Kinks’ ‘Lola’, which is even better than the Slits’ take on ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine.’
In an age of an obsession with a shiny sound, grasp this: it doesn’t sound shiny and sounds all the better for it.