Interesting match up. The indie boys of light eighties punk versus the indie girls of heavy nineties punk. Different in some ways, but they are both in the same family. The Feelies being the brothers to the Sleater-Kinney sisters. The former ruling the teenage roost with a subdued confidence and the latter raising hell with a brash insecurity.
Its hard to select a clear winner here. There isn’t much difference between them. Both albums contain extremely catchy and very rhythmic songs filled with bursts of high spirited nervous energy. Crazy Rhythms’ zero-distortion-two-chord-rifforama is clean and very pleasing to the ears. However, it is unassuming, filled with space and at risk of getting lost in the background. Call the Doctor’s all-distortion-three-chord-rifforama is completely in your face and requires full attention be paid to it. But that is just attitude. Change the dynamics of a strikingly wonderful song like “I’m Not Waiting” from Call the Doctor and it can seamlessly sit as a track on Crazy Rhythms.
Despite their seminal stature both of these albums are new discoveries for me. From what I can gather, they equal in their impact and influence on the indie rock sound, so I can’t differentiate them that way. So essentially it comes down to the MEAT of both albums and I have to say that there is more to chew on in Call the Doctor. Ultimately there are more riffs, more rhythms, and more progressions. Even though Crazy Rhythms’ minimalism is a punk rock triumph, Call the Doctor’s maximalist punk sound wins by a chord.
WINNER: Sleater-Kinney, Call the Doctor (1 point)
Next week’s battle – #48: XTC, Skylarking (1986) vs. Weezer, Pinkerton (1996)