Review #398: The Raincoats, The Raincoats

Karla Clifton
2 min readJun 7, 2023

#398: The Raincoats, The Raincoats

In summary: Britpunk Riot Grrrl.

Kurt Cobain is the reason this record was released in the US in 1993 (interestingly, including a bonus track as the opener, “Fairytale in the Supermarket”). Cobain’s liner notes read: “When I listen to the Raincoats I feel as if I’m a stowaway in an attic, violating and in the dark. Rather than listening to them I feel like I’m listening in on them.” Creepy-but-flattering territory.

I thought I was being dense when the country-western part of my brain kept getting activated, but soon realized that it was just Vicky Aspinalli’s electric violin. Like another woman-fronted Brit band they include one (1) wild-card instrument. See: opener of “No Side to Fall In,” “The Void,” and the last few seconds of “Life on the Line.”

Another thing — I think girl music tends to be more creative. I’m sorry, but I do. They pull off a round and chant a lot better than boy groups — see “Adventures Close to Home,” “Off Duty Trip,” and hectic closer “No Looking.” They have the gravitas to pull off boy music — see “Lola,” which is far more intimate than the Kinks would ever let themselves be.

Conclusion: I know this is a Brit-inspired band, but all I hear is shoegaze Sleater-Kinney. See: “In Love” for the song that sounds the most like both. This is probably one I’ll come back to.

If I had to vote two songs off the island: “Black and White” and “You’re a Million.”

Review #397: When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?, Billie Eilish

Review #399: Smile, Brian Wilson

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