April 14, 2002

Now playing: The Slits' Cut. I've really underrated this record in the past. It's truckloads of fun!

From my review, written, oh, way back:

Cut (along with albums by bands like Public Image Limited, Gang of Four, XTC, and The Clash) is now considered an important part of the history and development of the punk-dub hybridization as a fairly prominent style of late-'70s English youth culture. On the American front, Cleveland band Pere Ubu also dabbled in the subgenre, on Dub Housing and other early (post-Peter Laughner) releases. To me, the best "punk" bands have been the ones who tried to push the musical style beyond its boundaries. The most punk thing about The Slits was the creativity they employed in spite of their inability to, as the old saw goes, "play the way the pros play." And their look—slutty, vaguely gnome-like Shakespearean cauldron-stirrers on a St. Vincent de Paul thieving spree—seemed to pave the way for '80s thrift-store tarts like Bananarama and Danceteria-era Madonna. Lesser all- or mostly-female bands without proper training might have been satisfied just to make a point of their sucking. After all, wasn't that what the early '90s Riot Grrrl movement gave us—chick bands content merely to be up there doing it? The Slits' talent was always bubbling under, and once they picked up their instruments, these ladies were able to express the innovative sounds swimming around in their weird little heads.