InÂ the third installment of the Exploring the Library series, one stellar volunteer slugs throughÂ the depths of the music library to (re)present this British post-punk album by The Raincoats. Check out Olivia’sÂ contemporary take on this 1979 oldieÂ below!
Album: The Raincoats
Artist: The Raincoats
Label: Rough Trade Records
Love it or hate it, music made by the Raincoats is hard to ignore. The self-titled album from the British post-punk band sparks with strange, dissonant, at times barely restrained energyâ€”whether itâ€™s in the cleverly interlocking vocal harmonies or the screechy violin that periodically pierces the songs. The Raincoats are a band that clearly know their rock antecedents; the frenetic saxophone on â€œBlack and Whiteâ€ recalls early Roxy Music, while the wry cover of â€œLolaâ€ by the Kinks replaces the raucousness of the original with a more winking kind of subversion. But the Raincoats are just as much invested in playing with listenersâ€™ expectations of what a good rock album should sound like as they are in paying homage to them. The production is ramshackle, and at times the band sounds like they are on the verge of falling apart altogether, spinning off the base of their clattery percussion and frantic melodies. But itâ€™s all intentional, filled with a thrilling sense of agencyâ€”as the words to â€œAdventures Close to Homeâ€ remind us, â€œI choose my own fate / I follow love / I follow hate.â€
Key tracks: â€œLola,â€ â€œYouâ€™re A Million,â€ â€œAdventures Close to Homeâ€
Review by Olivia Wood