THE SLITS : “RADIO SESSIONS & LIVE AT ERIC’S 1977” CD....
You know how first impressions go. If my wife has relied on first impressions the first times I met her, I’d be sitting in a gutter somewhere right now, lonely and terrified, instead of typing smarmy, self-referential record reviews on the world wide web. If I had relied on first impressions the first time I heard CAPTAIN BEEFHEART
, I’d have a big blown hole in my record collection between “CAM” (Cameo
, of course) and “CAR” (The Cars
, naturally), a deep void that would render any credibility I’d accrued instantly worthless. Such it is with THE SLITS
. I had always figured these ladies to be mediocre hangers-on to the 1977 London punk scene, more famous for being the first all-GIRL band in an exploding scene than to be a band of any merit on their own. A couple of listens to their LP “Cut”
back in college cemented these first impressions. I was driven away by what I remember as dubby wank-arounds, loopy, affected vocals and a pretty surefire case of musical ineptitude permeating the whole tribal punk/tubthumping mess. I filed them with The Clash and 999 and all the other lame-o UK bands of the era that got proximity points but who did zero for me musically.
Then, years and years later, I hear this collection, a CD procured from Paul Marko’s UK Punk 1977
web site. Is this the same band? THESE Slits
are fired-up scratching and snarling punk vixens, bashing out fast and dirty punk with great shouted harmonies and a sound that’s at least 6 months beyond the “learning to play” vibe they put forth a year later. What’s up with that? This band is just 1-2-3-4 spot-on with their blazing live set and sound like a blast of fresh air on par with the other titans of the era. It may very well be that these John Peel sessions and a well-recorded October 1977 live show represent the band at their naïve, rocking best, a stance that turned on a dime when punk rock quickly became passé & the band ventured out into the great unknown of African tribalism and disco influences. That’s my theory, anyway, but would appreciate someone else’s take on THE SLITS
. I’ve barely read anything positive about them in 25 years beyond a bunch of lumping-in with the usual 1977 suspects.