Free Kitten is a two-guitars-plus-drums trio that seems to be co-led by Julie Cafritz and Kim Gordon (whose regular gig is playing bass for Sonic Youth). With drummer Yoshimi, they create a ratty, often dense and sometimes dissolute noise that will certainly be of interest to Sonic Youth fans and may also catch the attention of extreme hipsters but is unlikely to hold anyone's attention for very long. The pattern is laid out early on with "Erected Girl" -- if minimalism is intended to be part of this song's charm, well, it works OK for about two minutes, but when the song hasn't substantially changed after four minutes you start getting a bit restless. Then it changes kind of suddenly but not completely enough, and ends up being about four minutes too long at almost seven minutes. "Seasick" features aimlessly wanky wah-wah guitars, plodding drums, and equally plodding lyrics; it's no fun to listen to, but was probably fun to play, and it earns bonus points for including the line "I like the cut of your jib." "Free Kitten on the Mountain" offers eight minutes of unrelieved murk and tuneless acid-trip vocals; "Roughshod" is still murky, but more intense and interesting and snarky ("I'm not like you/I can't be cruel") -- and also, it must be noted, only about 90 seconds long. "Help Me" sounds like it was recorded on a crappy hand-held tape recorder, which nicely contains and focuses the song's sonic messiness -- then suddenly it explodes into relatively higher-fi sound and turns into a punky rave-up that works beautifully. "The Poet" is short and pointless; "Monster Eye" is long and pointless. There are interesting and compelling moments scattered throughout this album, but they never coalesce into something worth sitting all the way through.
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AllMusic Review by Rick Anderson