SLEATER KINNEY – ” Dig Me Out ” Released April 8th 1997

Posted: March 19, 2021 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me Out

Hailing from Olympia, Washington, Sleater-Kinney are pioneers in the riot grrrl movement. At its core, “Dig Me Out” is an album leading listeners through vigorous emotional strains — and the tension implodes on nearly every track. The record was released just barely a year after the bomb-hitting Call the Doctor, but the trio somehow managed to upstage themselves with “Dig Me Out”. This is the record where they first teamed up with Janet Weiss, and the change only did amazing things for them.

This album shows a sense of confidence. Sleater-Kinney were still an underground band when this record came out; Call the Doctor was a critical hit, but still wasn’t smashing numbers, and the band had shifted from a tiny indie label to a less tiny indie label. Dig Me Out is an album that will always push first into people’s minds when they think of the band, because it’s the record where everything first clicked for them — the record that marked their territory as a defining rock band in American history. 

“Dig Me Out” was the third studio album by the American rock band Sleater-Kinney, released on April 8, 1997, by Kill Rock Stars. The album was produced by John Goodmanson and recorded from December 1996 to January 1997 at John and Stu’s Place in Seattle, Washington. Dig Me Out marked the debut of Janet Weiss, who would become the band’s longest-serving drummer. The music on the record was influenced by traditional rock and roll bands, while the lyrics deal with issues of heartbreak and survival.

The album cover is an homage to The Kinks’ 1965 album “The Kink Kontroversy”. Two singles were released in support of the album: “One More Hour” and “Little Babies”.

Call the Doctor confirmed the band’s reputation as one of the major musical acts from the Pacific Northwest, rebelling against gender roles, consumerism, and indie rock’s male-dominated hierarchy. After the release of Call the Doctor, drummer Janet Weiss of Quasi joined the band. Previously, the band had had a number of temporary drummers, including Misty Farrell, Lora Macfarlane, and Toni Gogin. Weiss would eventually become Sleater-Kinney’s longest serving drummer. For its third album, Sleater-Kinney worked again with producer John Goodmanson.

Both Tucker and Brownstein remarked that Weiss became an essential part of the band’s sound. According to Tucker, “Musically, she’s completed our band. She’s become the bottom end and the solidness that we’ve really wanted for our song writing”. In addition to playing drums, Weiss provides hand claps and tambourine in “Turn It On”. Dig Me Out also contains more guitar and vocal interplay by Tucker and Brownstein than Call the Doctor. As Brownstein explained, “If you were to separate our guitar parts I don’t necessarily think they would fully stand on their own. Our songs aren’t really complete until the other person has put their part over it, and their vocals”. The lyrical themes on Dig Me Out deal with issues of heartbreak and survival.

The band left Chainsaw Records and decided to release the album through Kill Rock Stars, another independent record label which singer and guitarist Corin Tucker thought had better resources to ensure the band’s distribution. Goodmanson also remarked that Kill Rock Stars afforded the band a generous amount of studio time for an independent label, stating that Call the Doctor only took four days to record while Dig Me Out was recorded over the period of eight days.

The song “One More Hour” is about the breakup of Tucker and Brownstein’s romantic relationship.

Dig Me Out also features songs that show frustration with sexism and gender stereotypes. “Little Babies” is a protest against the traditional maternity role, while the title song “Dig Me Out” exposes a woman in a dominant role. The album’s title was inspired by the fact that the band had to literally dig out the recording studio after a heavy snowstorm that took place in Winter 1996 in Seattle. Musically, the song “Words and Guitar” was said to “[leap] and [skit] with the just-released repression of early Talking Heads”, while “Dance Song ’97” was said to “sport Devo-esque keyboards of a distinctly ’80s vintage”

Sleater-Kinney:
  • Carrie Brownstein – guitar, vocals
  • Corin Tucker – vocals, guitar
  • Janet Weiss – drums, percussion

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