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Free Kitten

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Album Review

Free Kitten is a two-guitars-plus-drums trio that seems to be co-led by Julie Cafritz and Kim Gordon (whose regular gig is playing bass for Sonic Youth). With drummer Yoshimi, they create a ratty, often dense and sometimes dissolute noise that will certainly be of interest to Sonic Youth fans and may also catch the attention of extreme hipsters but is unlikely to hold anyone's attention for very long. The pattern is laid out early on with "Erected Girl" — if minimalism is intended to be part of this song's charm, well, it works OK for about two minutes, but when the song hasn't substantially changed after four minutes you start getting a bit restless. Then it changes kind of suddenly but not completely enough, and ends up being about four minutes too long at almost seven minutes. "Seasick" features aimlessly wanky wah-wah guitars, plodding drums, and equally plodding lyrics; it's no fun to listen to, but was probably fun to play, and it earns bonus points for including the line "I like the cut of your jib." "Free Kitten on the Mountain" offers eight minutes of unrelieved murk and tuneless acid-trip vocals; "Roughshod" is still murky, but more intense and interesting and snarky ("I'm not like you/I can't be cruel") — and also, it must be noted, only about 90 seconds long. "Help Me" sounds like it was recorded on a crappy hand-held tape recorder, which nicely contains and focuses the song's sonic messiness — then suddenly it explodes into relatively higher-fi sound and turns into a punky rave-up that works beautifully. "The Poet" is short and pointless; "Monster Eye" is long and pointless. There are interesting and compelling moments scattered throughout this album, but they never coalesce into something worth sitting all the way through.

Customer Reviews

Sonic Twist

Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth doin' her thing with out them. I gravitate towards her songs on SY albums a lot, so here is a chance to get your fill. I really enjoy this noise.

A retort to the "sad week for music...

Why even bother writing a review? If you do not understand or relate to the genre of music that Free Kitten explores, then simply don't comment on it. Other fans of this music read those ridiculous remarks and don't give the album a chance. As a long time fan of Kim Gordon and Julie Cafritz, this album is nothing short of an amazing, fuzzed out, garage masterpiece. Take your favorite 60's pysch pop, late 70s punk, and a healthy dose of sonic shoegaze, put it in a blender and stick it next to an amp and you've got the makings of a truly incredible album.

Riot grrrl isn't over.

These queens of underground punk are back! And after so long, their outlook, style, message, and sound is needed most urgently. 'Bananas' is classic dirty Free Kitten, but the album as a whole shows progression. Kim Gordon, Julie Cafritz, and Yoshimi make up Free Kitten.


Formed: 1992 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Free Kitten began in 1992 in New York as a vehicle that would allow Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Pussy Galore's Julia Cafritz to pursue other projects away from their usual work with their respective bands. Guitarist Cafritz and bassist Gordon began playing out, offering their audiences short sets of post-punk numbers. They put out Call Now/Straight Up later that year, and proceeded on the Lollapalooza tour. Their singles include "Oh Bondage, Up Yours," which was originally done by X-Ray Spex. Yoshimi,...
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Inherit, Free Kitten
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Customer Ratings