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The Raincoats

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The Raincoats


For a band that touted its amateurism, the Raincoats managed to attract the attention of many an established musician. Ex-Slits drummer Palmolive nailed down rhythms that otherwise leak wherever you look. Producer Mayo Thompson of Red Krayola fame must have done his own share of bailing to keep the songs on their 1979 debut afloat, and ex-X-Ray Spex sax molester Lora Logic even lent a hand for a song or two. For all of that, the first thing that strikes you about the Raincoats is the crudeness of their music. Their songs were cut with pinking shears from the same fabric as the Velvet Underground and sewn together with a crooked, shaky stitch; nonetheless, the results are elegant. Songs like "Off Duty Trip," "You're a Million" and "No Looking" hurt and bleed no matter how often you listen to them. Their emotional directness is simply amplified by the damaged violin saws, crude sonic edges and choppy, halting vocal delivery. Either The Raincoats is already one of your favorite albums or you simply haven't heard it yet. They released two more exceptional albums and a collection of Kitchen Tapes before a long recording hiatus. Looking in the Shadows (1996) broke that silence, and though the chemistry of their debut could never be duplicated, you'll appreciate the reunion album, if you happened to be one of a handful of fans.
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