1001 Albums You Must Die Before You Hear
#63: Le Tigre – I’m With Her (2016)
MATT KELLY actually likes Le Tigre but this pro-Hilary Clinton single is badder than bad: it’s actually terrible.
I’m aware the title of this series is “1001 ALBUMS”. I’m aware this is a single. It’s a non-album single. But as it single-handedly (a-ha-ha) blew a cannon-ball-sized hole through a great artist’s credibility in a way many terrible fully-fledged albums can only dream of, I think it warrants inclusion.
1) I like Le Tigre. I’m not here to shit on their catalogue in general. In fact, I’ve advocated for today’s younger generation to rediscover them. They were ahead of their time with their blend of punk attitude, electronic music, and strident political views that didn’t forget to have a sense of humour.
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2) The politics. This is a song released to encourage people to vote for Hilary Clinton in the 2016 election and it takes explicit shots at Trump. “Aha,” you say. “The individual writing this has included this on a Worst Ever list because they are a Trump lover.” Of course, anyone thinking this hasn’t heard the song. In fact, from what I’ve seen, the people shitting on this song the most are on the left because it’s embarrassing to their cause. But politics are not the reason the song is here.
This song is here because IT SOUNDS FUCKING TERRIBLE. It sounds BAD. REALLY REALLY BAD. Everything about it sucks. I mean everything. Even the dreadful video where two-thirds of Le Tigre do their best Riot Drrrunk Soccerrr Mom dances in the street while the legendary Kathleen Hanna frightens the neighbours in the backyard and then apparently chases her cats around the house.
The basic, bleepy-bloopy backing track sounds like it was recorded using a cup and string device in a treehouse with the other cup next to a gramophone playing an early track Ayesha Erotica was too embarrassed to release. Yet annoying, witless and naive as the music is, it’s no match for these vocals.
They sound AWFUL. This is some “special” bad singing. The vocals are incredibly annoying. Maybe if the music had some punk energy you’d get away with these rough vocals but as it is the singing is fighting the track. To be fair, JD Samson sounds fine but Hanna and Johanna Fateman give career-worst turns as they tunelessly squawk these bafflingly tepid lyrics. An elementary school class could have come up with better burns than:
“Trump thinks Putin is a “very strong leader”
Just like him, a fascist bottom feeder”
It’s just so rubbish and the fact that it’s delivered with such confidence makes it even more horrifying – do Le Tigre really think this is good? I think they do. I actually think they do. This was launched on Pitchfork with great hoopla, it still hasn’t been taken down which I find rather amazing, and I think this was supposed to actually be a rallying cry for us to all get behind.
I think they thought this was good. It’s so sad. It makes me want to start a Kickstarter for Hanna to see an ear doctor.
It’s got to be one of the worst comebacks of all time. “Disappointing” doesn’t begin to describe the dismay I felt as an ageing Riot Girrrl fan when I first heard this. My heart broke.
But the keenest disappointment of all was that Hanna didn’t release this under the name Pantsuit Kill.