The Raincoats, Moving
Even their weakest outing deserves at least one spin
By 1984 the Raincoats were, perhaps reluctantly, one of the key emblems of feminist empowerment for a growing independent music scene. Although the group would disband after the making of this album, their few recordings became seminal documents for the next generation of young musicians, particularly those of the fledging riot grrrl movement of the early '90s.
Most of Moving already existed as a live performance and was released as The Kitchen Tapes in 1983 (named as such for the space where it was recorded, The Kitchen in New York City). On it, songs from Odyshape and Moving sounded loose and fun — owing more than likely to both the audience and the atmosphere. Studio recordings of these tracks are, unfortunately, hampered by an overbearing amount of eclecticism and little cohesion. The percussion is still bare and thinly textured, and although a vibraphone and bongos are added to the mix they feel lazily slapped on.
Somewhere in between the overly complicated production of this album are tracks that succeed in being clear and less, well, pretentious. "No One's Little Girl" is a whispery vocal experiment with sawing violin and biting lyrics: "I'm not anything/ 'Cause I don't want to be/ I never shall be/ in your family tree." "Balloon" seems to have pop aspirations, with round, warm rhythm guitars, a driving beat and lyrics that are markedly less abstract (at least within the context of the Raincoats' catalog).
After the release of Moving, all of the group's members left for their own projects, although they would later reunite (not once but twice). Thirty years on, even their weakest outing deserves at least one spin.