Alright, I'll admit it: I missed the boat on Sleater-Kinney in 97. When the critics were doing their best to drool over them in new and different ways and "Dance Song 97" was being played every fifth song on every alternative station in the country, I stolidly ignored them, based mostly on my dislike of the above single. For some reason, I used a Blockbuster gift card I got for Christmas to pick up this disc, and I was hooked from bar one.
Sleater-Kinney's music is characterized by the dualing chords of the two guitars, the aggressive, punk-like simplicity of the drums, and singer Corin Tucker's psychotic warble, which threatens to tumble wildly out of control at any second. These all combine to produce a musical assault that pummels the listener into sweet submission. They sound wonderfully like early Throwing Muses with their inner rage loosed gleefully on the unsuspecting world.
"Dig Me Out", the opening track, roars out of the gate and sets the tone for the whole disc. It is matched in ferocity by tracks like "Turn It On", "The Drama You've Been Craving", "Words and Guitar" (a song so simple and strong that it is without a doubt what all rock music should aspire to be), and "Not What You Want". They have softer sides, too; "One More Hour" is a desperate cry for one more chance at the end of a failed relationship, and "Buy Her Candy" is a spare, drumless arrangement that alternately praises and damns a lover that you can neither leave nor live with.
"Dig Me Out" is absolutely the best pure rock and roll record I've heard in a while. It is a perfect blending of the raw power and perfect structure of the Pixies and the emotion and wit of Liz Phair. I can't speak highly enough of this record. Even if you hated the single, get it. Now.