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This Weekend I’ll Mostly be Listening to… Sleater-Kinney, No Cities to Love January 31, 2015

Posted by WorldbyStorm in This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to..., Uncategorized.

I’ve got to be honest, I’ve always more admired Sleater-Kinney than much liked them. And yet, on paper, I should. They have forged an enjoyably rickety approach to rock inflected by punk and new wave. They worked with the Go-Betweens in the early 2000s on their The Friends of Rachel Worth. They’ve been solidly feminist and progressive. They’ve been unbelievably busy both in music and some in television and so on. And yet, while liking everything I read about them, and everything they said, the actual music just didn’t connect – it was just that bit too abrasive to my ears.

But their latest album, released this month, while equally abrasive is making me reconsider their earlier material with fresh ears, because it is, and I don’t think it’s too early to suggest this, something of a masterwork.

It starts as it means to go on with the scattered melody and instrumentation of Price Tag – a witty but heartfelt and thoughtful reflection on contemporary capitalism. Yes, it’s that sort of an album. The song is monstrous, huge guitar sounds, driving percussion, impassioned vocals, that combine to offer a claustrophobically vision of greed and consumerism. And yet, the claustrophobia is lyrical, more than musical. And on it goes, Surface Envy, all skittering guitars – almost no medium paced or slow tracks on here. All to the good, that. Curiously disjointed arrangements, fantastic choruses, quiet moments that intersperse the oddly metallic sheets of sound. Single No Cities To Love, sounds like Television and Slits meeting Sonic Youth, and yet remains entirely their own track. Indeed it’s the ability to merge post-punk, something close to grunge and a defiantly modern sensibility that makes this such a pleasurable and challenging listen. Other highlights include the almost anthemic A New Wave, the jagged (ironically titled) No Anthems, the off kilter chugging of Gimme Love, but they’re all good.

Enjoyable, thought provoking. What more could one ask for from a group that is already two decades and more old. More than well worth a listen.

No Cities to Love

Surface Envy

A New Wave

No Anthems

No Cities to Love (Live)


1. rockroots - January 31, 2015

Great to see they’re back together, and playing Dublin very soon too…


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