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Cut (Deluxe Edition)

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Editors’ Notes

The Slits only recorded two studio albums in their (original) short career, and their debut, Cut, remains their critical apogee: it’s a must-have for fans of any level. Recorded back in the exciting dark ages of punk for an adventurous Island Records, it’s not quite as primitive-sounding as the artwork suggests, but it is raw, nervy and honest. It’s also melodic, sensual, and oddly beautiful. Blending elements of reggae and dub with an art-punk sensibility, the Slits relied on stripped-down rhythmic elements: warm wood-block beats, shimmers of cymbals, stark shards of simple guitar. Vocalist Ari Up coaxed different sounds from her throat with ease, sometimes singing in an alluring coo, or shrieking spookily, or using a chiding, singsong style. Those with a passing knowledge of the band may know their signature “Typical Girls” or their cover of Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (a bonus track here), but there are plenty of other tracks worth adulation, such as chirpy opener “Instant Hit,” the exuberant “FM,” and the bouncy “Love Und Romance” along with its dub version, “Liebe and Romanze.” The 2010 Deluxe Edition contains a whopping 30 extra tracks that include demos, John Peel sessions and more.

Biography

Formed: 1976

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '00s

Along with the Raincoats and Liliput, the Slits are one of the most significant female punk rock bands of the late '70s. Not only did they bravely (or foolishly, you be the judge) leap into the fray with little, if any, musical ability (on their debut tour with the Clash, Mick Jones used to tune their guitars for them), but through sheer emotion and desire created some great music. This was especially true when they worked with veteran reggae producer Dennis Bovell, setting the stage for a future...
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