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£7.49
Cut

Rock - Released October 23, 2000 | KOCH RECORDS

Its amateurish musicianship, less-than-honed singing, and thick, dubwise rhythms might not be for everyone, but there's little denying the crucial nature of the Slits' first record. Along with more recognized post-punk records like Public Image Limited's Metal Box, the Pop Group's Y, and less-recognized fare like the Ruts DC and Mad Professor's Rhythm Collision Dub, Cut displayed a love affair with the style of reggae that honed in on deep throbs, pulses, and disorienting effects, providing little focus on anything other than that and periodic scrapes from guitarist Viv Albertine. But more importantly, Cut placed the Slits along with the Raincoats and Lydia Lunch as major figureheads of unbridled female expression in the post-punk era. Sure, Hole, Sleater-Kinney, and Bikini Kill would have still happened without this record (there were still the Pretenders and Patti Smith, just to mention a few of the less-subversive groundbreakers), but Cut placed a rather indelible notch of its own in the "influential" category, providing a spirited level rarely seen since. Heck, the Slits themselves couldn't match it again. You could call some of these songs a reaction to the Nuggets bands, or the '60s garage acts that would find as many ways as possible to say "women are evil." Songs like "Instant Hit" (about PiL guitarist Keith Levene), "So Tough" (about Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten), "Ping Pong Affair," and "Love Und Romance" point out the shortcomings of the opposite sex and romantic involvements with more precision and sass than the boys were ever able to. "Spend Spend Spend" and "Shoplifting" target consumerism with an equal sense of humor ("We pay f*ck all!"). Despite the less-than-polished nature and street-tough ruggedness, Cut is entirely fun and catchy; it's filled with memorable hooks, whether they're courtesy of the piano lick that carries "Typical Girls" or Ari Up's exuberant vocals. (One listen to Up will demonstrate that Björk might not be as original as you've been led to believe.) Island's 2000 reissue blows away the 1990 CD version in sound and presentation. A mammoth improvement is made with the sound, and extensive liner notes and photos are included. Movie fans should also check out High Fidelity, in which a copy of Cut makes more appearances than many of its co-stars. ~ Andy Kellman
£14.03

Punk / New Wave - Released January 1, 2009 | KOCH RECORDS

Its amateurish musicianship, less-than-honed singing, and thick, dubwise rhythms might not be for everyone, but there's little denying the crucial nature of the Slits' first record. Along with more recognized post-punk records like Public Image Limited's Metal Box, the Pop Group's Y, and less-recognized fare like the Ruts DC and Mad Professor's Rhythm Collision Dub, Cut displayed a love affair with the style of reggae that honed in on deep throbs, pulses, and disorienting effects, providing little focus on anything other than that and periodic scrapes from guitarist Viv Albertine. But more importantly, Cut placed the Slits along with the Raincoats and Lydia Lunch as major figureheads of unbridled female expression in the post-punk era. Sure, Hole, Sleater-Kinney, and Bikini Kill would have still happened without this record (there were still the Pretenders and Patti Smith, just to mention a few of the less-subversive groundbreakers), but Cut placed a rather indelible notch of its own in the "influential" category, providing a spirited level rarely seen since. Heck, the Slits themselves couldn't match it again. You could call some of these songs a reaction to the Nuggets bands, or the '60s garage acts that would find as many ways as possible to say "women are evil." Songs like "Instant Hit" (about PiL guitarist Keith Levene), "So Tough" (about Sid Vicious and Johnny Rotten), "Ping Pong Affair," and "Love Und Romance" point out the shortcomings of the opposite sex and romantic involvements with more precision and sass than the boys were ever able to. "Spend Spend Spend" and "Shoplifting" target consumerism with an equal sense of humor ("We pay f*ck all!"). Despite the less-than-polished nature and street-tough ruggedness, Cut is entirely fun and catchy; it's filled with memorable hooks, whether they're courtesy of the piano lick that carries "Typical Girls" or Ari Up's exuberant vocals. (One listen to Up will demonstrate that Björk might not be as original as you've been led to believe.) Island's 2000 reissue blows away the 1990 CD version in sound and presentation. A mammoth improvement is made with the sound, and extensive liner notes and photos are included. Movie fans should also check out High Fidelity, in which a copy of Cut makes more appearances than many of its co-stars. ~ Andy Kellman
£7.99

Rock - Released November 13, 2015 | Only Lovers Left Alive

They were more imposing when they were giant. Consisting of a joyously sinister track rooted in rumbling electronics ("Slits Tradition"), a canned punk retread ("Number One Enemy"), and a version of a track originally released on Ari Up's vastly superior Dread More Dan Dead ("Kill Them With Love"), Revenge of the Killer Slits is flimsy -- even by teaser standards -- and not the least bit essential for any fan of the group's original run. Up, Tessa Pollitt, and their rotating lineup of associates would do well to follow the path taken by Up's 2005 solo album. That seems much more in the spirit of the Slits than the pungent whiff of nostalgia given by this disc's second track. ~ Andy Kellman
£10.29

Punk / New Wave - Released February 27, 2015 | Sony Music UK

Never released in America, the Slits' second and final record found them pushing the envelope rhythmically. Although designed to be more commercial than Cut, it's actually less so, sounding more like the innovative work a young Adrian Sherwood was doing with Creation Rebel. Fans of the early Slits, who were put off by the reggae of Cut, were no doubt further alienated by this record's comfortable use of Afro-pop tempos and style. Which was a shame, because this music was interesting, daring and exciting. ~ John Dougan
£10.99

Rock - Released February 21, 2005 | Castle Communications

Historically, this tape of a January 26, 1978 show in Paris has considerable value. It's the original lineup of the Slits -- Ari Up on vocals, Viv Albertine on guitar, Tessa Pollitt on bass, and Palmolive (who would leave before the Slits' first album, and later join the Raincoats) -- well in advance of the release of the group's first LP in 1979. Musically, however, Live at the Gibus Club is not as exciting as either of the Slits' later releases, or as legend would have the band sounding in their early days. The sound quality's actually fairly decent for an early live punk recording, and the four thrash around with as much venomous energy as almost anyone from the first wave of British punk acts. But the music's isn't nearly as inventive as it would be when they went into a heavily reggae-influenced approach by the time they started recording. Instead, it's tumbling, lumpy tempoed, similar-sounding rants with proto-hardcore anthemic choruses, with Up's vocals so howled that the words are difficult to make out (admittedly a trait shared by many an early punk recording). There are early versions of a few songs that would make it onto their debut album ("Instant Hit," "So Tough," "New Town," "Shoplifting," "Love and Romance"), along with a more unexpected cover of the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale." You also have the pleasure of hearing Up interrupt "Enemy Numero Uno" to deliver the following scolding: "F*ck off, you frustrated bouncer, you! Sh*t-ass! What are you doing up here anyway, you asshole?...Go to the bog and have a wank!" Early British punk insider (and, briefly, Slits manager) Don Letts contributes entertaining liner notes about the group's early days. ~ Richie Unterberger