The Raincoats: S/T 12” (Kill Rock Stars)
I seem to remember a few represses of the Raincoats’ debut LP over the past few years. Kill Rock Stars bills this one as a “40th Anniversary Edition,” which doesn’t mean anything except colored vinyl and a new hype sticker. This record doesn’t need bells and whistles, though, as the music already contains more than enough of them.
While the Raincoats have connections to the ’77 scene and critics tend to view them within the context of post-punk, this album sounds like it’s arguing against those movements as much as it is pledging allegiance to them. Listening to this record feels like peering into the briefcase in Pulp Fiction, mystical, beautiful, yet somehow also secret and private. It’s brimming with possibility and discovery similarly to post-punk landmarks like PiL’s Metal Box, Siouxsie & the Banshees’ Juju, or Wire’s Chairs Missing, but it’s also nothing like any of those records.
Any way you slice it, the Raincoats' debut is a landmark album, and awakening to its beauty is like achieving some lower level of spiritual enlightenment.