Oil Seed Rape

Six Steps To Womanhood

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The trio's only full album was more an extended EP than anything else, the six steps in question equating to the number of songs on the disc, but 6 Steps to Womanhood made an advantage out of its brevity to concentrate the impact. That the trio had a particular American '80s indie jones going on was clear enough from the start -- besides the Big Black/drum machine-driven style evident from their earlier EP, the artwork more than slightly resembled similarly copper-toned efforts from Swans. If Oil Seed Rape didn't add much per se to the continuum on this effort, they at least do show that compared to the semi-grunge/proto-Brit-pop hordes at play in Brit indie in 1993, there was still room for something a bit different. Songs like "Tin Gusset" play up the combination of brutal guitar and stiff beats pretty darn well, and if Therapy? ended up having actual pop hits around the same time, there's major-label connections for you. But Oil Seed Rape steers away from the full in-your-face attitude of the Irish band; there's a creeping subtlety at work -- even in songs called "Doe Meets Stud Buck," a Killdozer-worthy name if ever there was one -- that emphasizes crawling bass, buried but outraged vocals, and a methodical punch rather than a frenetic slam. If anything, bands like Godflesh are a not-so-secret influence as well, and if the singing isn't as absolutely roaring and tortured as that of Justin K. Broadrick and the music not quite as epically grotesque, there's been worse in the world. There are a couple of exceptions, as "Comb" and "Keel Haul" show, but generally the balance of distanced aggression is favored and it works well enough.

Track Listing

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