Cut is the Slits' true masterpiece. Dubmeister Dennis Bovell's crisp and spacious production enables us to hear, for the first time, just how mutinous and eccentric the Slits' version of rock'n'roll is. Their music pulsates with the fitful biorhythms of adolescence. Continually shifting tempos lunge between bravado and hesitancy; girl-harmonies clash and overlap; guitars scrape and stutter. Every verse is an adventure full of unrepeatable collisions and unexpected noises ( a spoon dropping, coins clinking, vaporous voices from some distant radio).
"Typical Girls," the closest they get to an anthem, pokes wicked fun at conventional zombified females who "Don't create/ Don't rebel" but instead "worry about... unnatural smells." The songs' targets-- consumer capitalism, normative notions of romance and gender-- were standard issue in the post-punk era. But unlike their agit-pop contemporaries Gang of Four and the Au Pairs, the Slits inject their cultural critique with so much joyous abandon that they sound riotous, not righteous. "Shoplifting" transforms that most female form of delinquency into glorious liberation: "We pay FUCK ALL!" Ari's earth-shattering howl dissolves into bladder-busting hilarity as she giggles, "Ooh, I pissed in my knickers!"