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New Music: Sleater-Kinney

By Jason Herring, January 22 2015 —

After a 10-year break from recording, punk-rock staple Sleater-Kinney have returned with the triumphant No Cities to Love. The band certainly hasn’t let their talent wither — the new album is as powerful and disarming as the work that precedes it.

The band features dual guitarists and vocalists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein, who are backed by Janet Weiss on drums. Known for their vocal support of feminism and liberalism, these ideals drive Sleater-Kinney’s music.

From the album’s opening track, “Price Tag,” these beliefs are paired alongside distorted punk guitars with lyrics that criticize America’s skewed distribution of wealth.

However, politics don’t define the album. The instrumentals and hooks on the record are strong enough to stand alone.

A particularly impressive song is the anthemic title track, which showcases the band’s affinity for mixing punk instrumentals with infectious vocal hooks.

The group also explores pop music territory as they introduce  synthesizers on “Fangless.” While the move will upset punk-rock purists, these elements are tastefully added and the music doesn’t lose its bite.

In contrast, “No Anthems” is the most abrasive music the band has ever released, with jagged guitars looping through the verses before the song explodes into a defiant chorus.

No Cities to Love is an incredible release from a band that has earned their place as punk icons. Let’s hope they’re here to stay.



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