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NINETYNINE (Buy CDs by this artist)
99 (Can. Patsy/Endearing) 1996
767 (Can. Patsy/Endearing) 1997
180º (Can. Endearing) 1999
Anatomy of Distance (Patsy) 2001
The Process (Aus. Trifekta) 2002

Laura MacFarlane, the original drummer in Sleater-Kinney, had come to the attention of that group's two other founders, in part, from playing in various bands in Australia. After leaving Sleater-Kinney, she returned to her home base of Melbourne and released 99, her first solo album. It's a small, charming disc, under a half-hour long, with 11 songs recorded almost entirely on her own. As it turns out, she's a terrific, terse songwriter (she'd written a couple of songs on the first two S-K albums), with a real sensitivity to melody — "I Am Not American" has a hovering synth line that is actively gorgeous — as well as the confident bash you'd expect. Lyrically, her anger is tempered by understanding — "Popemobile" is a song about organized religion that acknowledges its comforts.

MacFarlane has since assembled a full-time group and has toured and recorded extensively.

[Douglas Wolk]
   
This piece was first published in Badaboom Gramophone #3 and appears here with permission.