I recently picked up a copy of Mecca Normal’s Calico Kills The Cat and was impressed, so when I saw that Artoffact was putting out a long-lost live session from 1996 I knew I’d need to check it out.
Right from the first needle drop Jean Smith is simmering with anger and grit, challenging the audience as if to say, “I’m not here to sing sweetly for you. You will LISTEN to what I have to say!” Musically things are very straight-forward, setting the pace and providing the platform for Smith’s lyrics, the drumming a pulse and the guitar capturing the changing mood and flow. The vocal don’t so much follow the beat or any standard cadence, instead flowing organically in an almost stream-of-consciousness way. It’s a risky approach and one that can come across as sloppy or lazy if you’re not careful, but Smith pulls it off perfectly with complete confidence.
The sound quality is tremendous, as you’d expect for something recorded by CBC for broadcast. You can stream it and/or buy a vinyl copy on Bandcamp HERE, so if you’re Jonesing for something you haven’t heard before with an honest riot grrrl vibe, go check it out.