Zine/Record Review: Free To Fight #1

Sleater-Kinney/Cypher in the Snow - Free to Fight #1
(1998 Candyass)

I'm taking an Honors class on the Riot Grrrl movement this semester at college, so I thought it would only be appropriate to pick up this release while browsing the used vinyl section at Torn Light Records. Free To Fight is a split 7" single wrapped in a zine. The record itself features the recently reformed trio Sleater-Kinney on the A-side and jazz-punk obscurity Cypher in the Snow on the flip, a project which I believe is named after a 70's educational film about bullying. Sleater-Kinney's cut is solid, a throwback of sorts to the band's earliest material: raw and trebly that leans toward the pop side of punk. Cypher in the Snow's offering is less accessible, a frenetic blast of buzzsaw guitar and sour saxophone (or trombone?). The zine component of the release is really cool, featuring blocky illustrations and tips on how to resolve conflict among your friends and to defend yourself in the event of an attack. This is a very interesting release that has aged well, worth a look if you come across it.