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Water Cuts My Hands

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This 1990 recording by the cult lo-fi duo comes produced or unproduced -- however you choose to look at it -- by K Records boss and Beat Happening leader Calvin Johnson. The willful, atonal punk is driven along by the rhythmic, metallic chugging of David Lester's guitar, while singer Jean Smith recites her stream-of-consciousness text with a Patti Smith-like scat abandon. Over the 12 tracks the three-chord formula becomes engagingly hypnotic; if their sound is a little abrasive to start, they make some experimental and even folk-like turns that provide moody relief in the maelstrom of static guitar and anguished wailing. The more hook-orientated tracks recall the primitive post-punk of the Raincoats and the Slits.