Release Date: 05.20.08
The idea behind Free Kitten has always been a very calculated one. As much as Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon and Pussy Galore's Julie Cafritz make Free Kitten records for simple artistic expression, attention to the subtext underlying the existence of the "band," the difficulty of music and the social context is just as much of what the project demands from the listener.
For instance, Free Kitten releases are special events, with Inherit being the 4th release and coming 9 years after the critically acclaimed Sentimental Education and this in itself is a statement. Only certain moments demand Free Kitten. Now is the time. Could it be that the indie rock world of bouncy 12-piece percussion soft rock ensembles needs an arty ass-kicking? Or is it that for all the "sensitive boys are feminists too!" protests of the current rock music gentry, there are still far too few female voices making statements? Or perhaps it's a clarion call for the women in music to stop playing the cute indie sweetheart role or the sad little match girl and learn to make a joyful feminine noise?
Whatever the reason is for Inherit to drop on us in 2008, it's a welcome return. Sonically, the LP shifts from droning feedback-laden beat poetry to noise skronk with the expected screams and clangs, both completely to be expected from this duo. There's enough Sonic Youth and Pussy Galore flourishes to remind you why they are still so beloved, and there are also enough dashes of Pavement, the Make Up, and Blonde Redhead to prove they haven't forgotten where they came from and where they belong. Sure there are signs of age, but just because they may have slowed down, that doesn't mean these ladies are done. They just find new ways to make the same statements, and thankfully so, as very few musicians have such a knack for making art and noise sound so resolutely feminine.
For the initiated, the return of Free Kitten will be a welcome change of pace from the rest of the indie pack. For the uninitiated, though, be warned. Prepare to hate Free Kitten, or, if you're really listening, expect to be shaken from your yuppie Garden State slumber.