Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sleater-Kinney: "No Cities To Love" (album review)

You won't get much argument from people (unless they listen to shitty Top 40 radio) when you say that Sleater-Kinney's new album, No Cities To Love is the most highly-anticipated record of 2015.  The trio's first album in a decade, something we weren't certain we'd ever get,  will come complete with a reunion tour in support.

Despite each having quality projects that they've been working on during Sleater-Kinney's hiatus, the members all seem to have some pent up energy.  The record is an absolute live wire, unleashing a torrent of electricity that fans will be barking for.

The album opens up with "Price Tag", which pulls off the near-impossible by being both angular in the guitar work and meaty on the bottom end.  It's full throttle on "Fangless" and the slick energetic "A New Wave".

Sleater-Kinney attack "Bury Our Friends" with reckless abandon.  They barely hold together as the song careens towards it's doom in a exhilarating thrill ride.

The vocals are no more tame than the arrangements.  Corin Tucker screams her way through a myriad of tracks, none more intimidatingly than "Surface Envy".  Her vocals are vintage, with a squealing guitar layered just underneath.

Some harmonies do get thrown into the mix, but they are far from saccharine.  On the title track  they help show a glimpse of pop sensibility, that Sleater-Kinney quickly shrug off.  "Hey Darling" hits with an impact that puts the 'power' in Power Pop.

Everything gets capped off with a sprawling exploration of Prog Rock on "Fade".

Sleater-Kinney play the Sound Academy in Toronto on March 2nd.

Best tracks: "No Cities To Love", "Bury Our Friends"

Track listing for No Cities To Love:

  • Price Tag
  • Fangless
  • Surface Envy
  • No Cities To Love
  • A New Wave
  • No Anthems
  • Gimme Love
  • Bury Our Friends
  • Hey Darling
  • Fade

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