Sleater-Kinney, Call The Doctor

Nick Marino

By Nick Marino

on 04.11.11 in Reviews
More fun, more self-assured, rangier and just plain better than their debut

Without losing any bite, Sleater-Kinney’s sophomore release was more fun, more self-assured, rangier and just plain better than the band’s self-titled debut. The band showed real growth, especially considering how quickly this record followed the first one, and Call the Doctor hinted at the full-on awesomeness of Dig Me Out, which was right around the corner. Weiss’s drums help immeasurably, keeping listeners guessing with playful misdirection, while Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein were beginning to understand how to fuse punk-rock anger to infectious melodies. “Little Mouth” is an absolute rager, with Tucker wailing through the chorus as though she’s been scalded by hot water, but it’s also a catchy tune with a halting rhythm that begs replaying. “Stay Where You Are” inches closer to the bobbing-and-weaving Tucker/Brownstein vocal dynamic that would become a signature, and Brownstein herself steps out with “Heart Attack,” a melodic album-closing classic that she sings gloriously off-key.