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Old 03.06.2015, 03:53 PM   #1
Screaming Skull
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Ok, so I've been on a near-exclusive Sleater-Kinney run since No Cities To Love came out. I've been listening to S-K's entire discography back and forth and just marveling. That is until Girl In A Band came out. For whatever reason it inspired me to put on Washing Machine today. Loud. When asked, I typically point to Sister and Daydream Nation as SY's zenith. But man, someone can EASILY make the argument that Washing Machine is their high point. Serisously. Perhaps it's the joy Coco brought, but SY is creatively - and technically - so "on point" throughout the recording. It's nothing short of a masterpiece. Thurston's songs are great. Kim's songs are great. Lee's songs are great. They are tight, focused, and weird throughout. I'm just blown away again. Great, great record and a reflection of better times for the band.
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Old 03.06.2015, 04:02 PM   #2
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Absolutely one of their strongest efforts. It's like effortless magic.
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Old 03.06.2015, 11:28 PM   #3
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I personally think it's their best sounding record. So well recorded. Thurston and Lee's guitars sound so clear and dirty at the same time. I wish The Eternal had the same production value. I love it. I want my guitar to sound exactly like this.
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Old 03.07.2015, 01:29 AM   #4
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I am also big Washing Machine fan (few years ago ordered also WM-shirt). Really one of the greatest SY-album, also one of the greatest albums of all time. I think only Sister, EVOL & ATL are maybe better, but just a very little. And when I listened WM, I think it┤s their best. Also think it┤s one of their best sounding albums.

After Experimental I was afraid SY just couldn┤t make great albums anymore and I would not listen them anymore. Then one day I went to the record shop and they played No Queen Blues there (I haven┤t heard SY┤s new album is coming). It sounded just so great I bought it immediately and was so happy I had one of my favourite bands back. It was that US-version and some time I believed the one I heard in the record shop was untitled bonus in the end of the first vinyl and Panty Lies was No Queen Blues. But soon I noticed there had happen a mistake in pressings.
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Old 03.07.2015, 02:36 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screaming Skull
Ok, so I've been on a near-exclusive Sleater-Kinney run since No Cities To Love came out. I've been listening to S-K's entire discography back and forth and just marveling. That is until Girl In A Band came out. For whatever reason it inspired me to put on Washing Machine today. Loud. When asked, I typically point to Sister and Daydream Nation as SY's zenith. But man, someone can EASILY make the argument that Washing Machine is their high point. Serisously. Perhaps it's the joy Coco brought, but SY is creatively - and technically - so "on point" throughout the recording. It's nothing short of a masterpiece. Thurston's songs are great. Kim's songs are great. Lee's songs are great. They are tight, focused, and weird throughout. I'm just blown away again. Great, great record and a reflection of better times for the band.
Funny i haven't even listened to a single tune from new SK and am waiting for the show in May BUT ive been bumping SY on heavy rotation. Yesterday was Washing Machine on repeat, today it was Sonic Nurse with my usual accompanying religious experience..

To be sure i think SY had three distinct high water marks.. Daydream Nation where their music finally became something more "conventional".. Washing Machine where their sound became more "polished" and Sonic Nurse where their stageshow became a culmination of everything they are a kind of harmonized chaos.. to me Nurse is their all time high point but im biased, i love that record so much i could marry it
 
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Old 03.07.2015, 04:44 AM   #6
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I've always felt Washing Machine was a really strong album in the way that it demonstrated a new direction for the band. It stands on it's own when compared to everything that came before it. That said, everything that came before...and most everything that came after (sans Rather Ripped which was a total joke of a record, and The Eternal which had strong moments but all in all was nothing too special) was/is so much better in my opinion. In other words, I understand why it's an important record. I just always found it boring. I should also state that there's a big difference between an album being boring and an album "sucking", and WM definitely doesn't suck.




I don't remember the last time I listened to it. It's been at least 3 years. I should change that soon.
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Old 03.07.2015, 05:40 AM   #7
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I listened to Washing Machine recently as well, always been one of my undisputed favourites.

It was maybe the fourth or fifth album of theirs I bought when I was around about 15 or 16, so this was like 15 years ago. It immediately blew me away, it has a specific atmosphere/ambience that is really magical for want of a less cheesy word.

Totally agree about the guitar sound, how it's clear yet dissonant at the same time, beautifully produced record. The only track I'm not so fond of is Little Trouble Girl for some reason. But the title track and Becuz would easily figure in a list of my all time favourite tracks.
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Old 03.07.2015, 06:05 AM   #8
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It was my first Sonic Youth record. I found it extremely difficult to get into but the moment I finally "got it", a whole new world unfolded.
This album has had immense influence on myself, on my understanding of music and to my own creativity. It's the best Sonic Youth record and for me personally, the best record ever created.
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Old 03.07.2015, 06:17 AM   #9
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I'm in.
I always say that WM is their peak.
No one accept that
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Old 03.07.2015, 06:21 AM   #10
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As agreed by everyone it's a fantastic album.

The personal highlights for me are Washing Machine (also a song that'd go with me on my desert island discs), No Queen Blues and of course Diamond Sea. Lowlight? Pantie Lies. An absolute shocking song and would probably be up there in my most hated songs by SY.

It always bothered me that they never played any song of this album after '95, save for Skip Tracer a few times. For an album as strong as it is they seemed to drop it pretty quickly after touring the album. Although the same could be said for any of their albums after Goo.
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Old 03.07.2015, 06:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lo-fi suicide
I'm in.
I always say that WM is their peak.
No one accept that

I'd agree that certainly the next three albums were nowhere near as good as Washing Machine they kicked it back with Sonic Nurse.
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Old 03.07.2015, 06:34 AM   #12
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The guitars starting at around 2:26 on Washing Machine the song alone are a major achievement for them as a band. Also proof that wearing your Velvets influence on you sleeve is beneficial to most rock bands but only few can master it the same way SY has done on this record. Great record.
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Old 03.07.2015, 06:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h8kurdt
I'd agree that certainly the next three albums were nowhere near as good as Washing Machine they kicked it back with Sonic Nurse.

For me they kicked it back with Murray Street. I don't want to take this thread in a negative direction, but I thought they had finally "lost it" during the ATL/NYCG&F period. Scary shit (for me). Blasphemy for some of you, I know - but my opinion nonetheless.
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Old 03.07.2015, 07:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Genteel Death
The guitars starting at around 2:26 on Washing Machine the song alone are a major achievement for them as a band. Also proof that wearing your Velvets influence on you sleeve is beneficial to most rock bands but only few can master it the same way SY has done on this record. Great record.

I remember I was driving down to London on the motorway with a few friends and we had this album on. It was like 3am, the roads were dead, pitch black, and there was only the motorway lights on.
Around that moment on Washing Machine I remember we'd all shut up and just listened to the song. When it got to that point where the noise starts to kick in a notch I remember putting my foot on the accelerator 80, 90, 100 then reaching 110mph, then just desperation the throw the car off the road. I can't describe it really. Coming to the end of the song I just let go of the accelerator till it dropped down to 60mph and it felt like we were pretty much crawling. After that song ended it goes into Unwind and there was this odd calm around us all. Music to to Crash Your Car to indeed.

If anything, it highlighted the perfect track order on the album.
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Old 03.07.2015, 07:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by h8kurdt
I remember I was driving down to London on the motorway with a few friends and we had this album on. It was like 3am, the roads were dead, pitch black, and there was only the motorway lights on.
Around that moment on Washing Machine I remember we'd all shut up and just listened to the song. When it got to that point where the noise starts to kick in a notch I remember putting my foot on the accelerator 80, 90, 100 then reaching 110mph, then just desperation the throw the car off the road. I can't describe it really. Coming to the end of the song I just let go of the accelerator till it dropped down to 60mph and it felt like we were pretty much crawling. After that song ended it goes into Unwind and there was this odd calm around us all. Music to to Crash Your Car to indeed.

If anything, it highlighted the perfect track order on the album.

That's a fantastic way to put it.
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Old 03.07.2015, 10:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Screaming Skull
For me they kicked it back with Murray Street. I don't want to take this thread in a negative direction, but I thought they had finally "lost it" during the ATL/NYCG&F period. Scary shit (for me). Blasphemy for some of you, I know - but my opinion nonetheless.
I really loved ATL straight when it came, but I had same feelings with NYCG&F as with Experimental (afraid that I don┤t have my favourite band anymore). Bought Murray Street almost half years later it came (one friend said they┤re released it, I didn┤t even know they┤ve made record) and was really glad, when had a feeling I got SY back. Loved all the records after Murray.
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Old 03.07.2015, 10:19 AM   #17
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When nyc gf came out my girl got it for me and said, "im not sure you're going to like this record." Fucking shit i fell in love with it from the first listen..
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Old 03.07.2015, 11:49 AM   #18
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Washing Machine was the first SY I bought right when it came out, and I fell for it hard. I was in high school, couldn't afford many albums, so the ones I had got played a lot, burned into my brain. It had some relatively mellow subtly psychedelic tracks, a retro-60's-girl-group track, a Velvets-tribute-of-sorts, a mid-album secret track, two stellar Lee songs (after Jet Set's severe Lee drought), & Diamond Sea was like a world unto itself unfolding deeper and deeper in ecstasy/obliteration. Had a great driving experience listening to my copy of the extended single CD with the "alt Lp ending" version of the track, as a passenger driving from town up into foggy mountain roads with teenage friends. The song and the road both traveled from familiar to mysterious territory. They hadn't heard anything like it before, and were blown away. I missed their tour for this album for reasons teenagers miss out on things, like lack of a ride, and was pretty bummed. I made damn sure to make it to the Tibetan Freedom Concert, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 1996 via Greyhound bus with a friend. We stayed at his Aunt & Uncle's place in the Haight and walked to the park early, got right up front, making sure to choose the stage SY would appear on. The Sonics played a short set, only four songs I think, and it was the first time I saw them live. When Diamond Sea hit, I was overwhelmed as only a music-obsessed teenager can be seeing their favorite band for the first time, playing their favorite song for 20+ minutes. Highlight of my year. If I'm not mistaken, that was one of the last times they played that song. That song was my gateway into extended improv and eventually jazz, which I am still gleefully exploring. Now I see connections with other side-long epic tracks like Tortoise's Djed, Pink Floyd's Echoes, Velvet Underground's Sister Ray, Grateful Dead's Dark Star.

I found this image in a fine art magazine once, which dovetails with the album artwork, and would be ideal for a deluxe 20th anniversary reissue on spin-cycle vinyl. Bill Woodrow, "Twin-Tub with Guitar", 1981, washing machine. It is a sheet metal guitar sculpture using metal from a single salvaged washing machine, designed so that all the pieces remain attached to the washing machine, made the year the band was founded:


 

In my memory the sculptor was female, the guitar jutted out and away from the washing machine, and was less rough and more precise/realistic. My memory has been known to be faulty.

If Washing Machine has a lowlight, for me it would be Junkie's Promise. I usually skip that one. The post-Cobain maudlin heroin drama feels deeply passe to me now.
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Old 03.07.2015, 12:09 PM   #19
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for me: washing machine is their best album. especially because of the way it sounds. the vocals, the guitars, the drums.. the noisy 'solo' on becuz is fantastic. always wanted them to record some more songs with the same recording set up

also: not a single bad song. they're all great. only junkie's promise is not exactly one of their greatest achievements.
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Old 03.08.2015, 01:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hirsute_biped
Washing Machine was the first SY I bought right when it came out, and I fell for it hard. I was in high school, couldn't afford many albums, so the ones I had got played a lot, burned into my brain. It had some relatively mellow subtly psychedelic tracks, a retro-60's-girl-group track, a Velvets-tribute-of-sorts, a mid-album secret track, two stellar Lee songs (after Jet Set's severe Lee drought), & Diamond Sea was like a world unto itself unfolding deeper and deeper in ecstasy/obliteration. Had a great driving experience listening to my copy of the extended single CD with the "alt Lp ending" version of the track, as a passenger driving from town up into foggy mountain roads with teenage friends. The song and the road both traveled from familiar to mysterious territory. They hadn't heard anything like it before, and were blown away. I missed their tour for this album for reasons teenagers miss out on things, like lack of a ride, and was pretty bummed. I made damn sure to make it to the Tibetan Freedom Concert, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco 1996 via Greyhound bus with a friend. We stayed at his Aunt & Uncle's place in the Haight and walked to the park early, got right up front, making sure to choose the stage SY would appear on. The Sonics played a short set, only four songs I think, and it was the first time I saw them live. When Diamond Sea hit, I was overwhelmed as only a music-obsessed teenager can be seeing their favorite band for the first time, playing their favorite song for 20+ minutes. Highlight of my year. If I'm not mistaken, that was one of the last times they played that song. That song was my gateway into extended improv and eventually jazz, which I am still gleefully exploring. Now I see connections with other side-long epic tracks like Tortoise's Djed, Pink Floyd's Echoes, Velvet Underground's Sister Ray, Grateful Dead's Dark Star.

I found this image in a fine art magazine once, which dovetails with the album artwork, and would be ideal for a deluxe 20th anniversary reissue on spin-cycle vinyl. Bill Woodrow, "Twin-Tub with Guitar", 1981, washing machine. It is a sheet metal guitar sculpture using metal from a single salvaged washing machine, designed so that all the pieces remain attached to the washing machine, made the year the band was founded:


 

In my memory the sculptor was female, the guitar jutted out and away from the washing machine, and was less rough and more precise/realistic. My memory has been known to be faulty.

If Washing Machine has a lowlight, for me it would be Junkie's Promise. I usually skip that one. The post-Cobain maudlin heroin drama feels deeply passe to me now.
Great post! I am really jealous to you, because I haven┤t ever seen SY live. Really would also liked to hear Diamond Sea live. I really loved also Junkie┤s at first. To me Becuz was disappointment at first because it sounded in the first song of the album same to me as Experimental-album sounded. No queen blues was something really different as they made before when I heard it on that record shop, so when heard Becuz I thought maybe No Queen is the only song that differ from the past. But when Junkie┤s started, I was again really excited, it sounded something new (I think they never used bongos before). Really love that great outro!
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