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The Raincoats

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Editors’ Notes

The all-female British band The Raincoats—championed by Kurt Cobain in the early ‘90s—released three studio albums between 1979 and 1984. Their self-titled debut had a fiercely independent flavor that didn’t quite fit the post-punk mold of the time. With scratchy violin, spare guitar/bass, and polyrhythmic layers of clattering percussion, The Raincoats mined the sort of tribal, off-kilter territory that The Slits were also exploring then. (In fact, in 1979 Slits drummer Palmolive left her band of three years for The Raincoats.) Songs alternate between primitive folk and gutsy punk—with art-school flair—as the vocals veer from sweetly flat and off-key to shouty choruses and sour mewling. Gems not to miss are the first single, “Fairytale in the Supermarket” (not on the original album), “No Side to Fall In,” a cover of The Kinks’ “Lola,” and the bittersweet “In Love.” The Raincoats is a priceless piece of rock history. Cool notes: Mayo Thompson of The Red Krayola was a producer here, and Lora Logic of X-Ray Spex contributed sax work. Palmolive left the band shortly after this release, embraced Christianity, and moved to the U.S.

Customer Reviews

Heartfelt Folk Punk...

This record delivers on so many levels. The obviously mean it... Production values aside, these tunes flat out have catchy grooves and riffs. Post-punk folk as a genre? Pretty good example of late 70's early 80's... I guess it is post-punk folk...

Great Album!

I can't believe there aren't more reviews on this album; it's great! All the songs got stuck in my head from the first listen.

What a blast!

Someone played Fairytale in the Supermarket on the jukbox at the bar I was patronizing over the weekend. I forgot this album existed! I went home and bought it immediately. The whole thing is truly a gem and I am so happy I was reintroduced.

Biography

Formed: 1977 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the more unusual bands to rise from the British punk explosion of the 1970s, the Raincoats were post-punk before punk's first act had fully played out; they had little interest in the speed or velocity of the Clash or the Sex Pistols, instead embracing a more open and dynamic approach which incorporated purposefully chaotic arrangements that made the members' lack of instrumental experience a virtue rather than a drawback. They also occasionally employed acoustic instruments (particularly...
Full Bio