|Sleater-Kinney / No Cities To Love|
|Add Date:||2015-02-06|| ||Pull Date:||2015-04-10|| |
|Week Ending:||12 Apr||5 Apr||29 Mar||22 Mar||15 Mar||8 Mar||1 Mar||22 Feb|
No Cities to Love
The eighth album and return of this kickass indie punk trio from the Pacific Northwest. S-K remarked that they “sound possessed on these songs” but “want [them] to be daunting” and both statements ring true. Corin Tucker is the dominant vocalist over Carrie Brownstein here, and her commanding alto still channels an intense raw energy in every shrieked or growled syllable. Janet Weiss (one of my heroes, disclaimer) is still the awesomely creative force behind the sense of movement and joy in every song. The guitars intertwine beautifully, in that they scream and claw at and tangle with each other so that not a moment feels stagnant or wasted. Unlike 2005’s The Woods, there isn’t really a slow tune or a breather until the close. These tracks are loud, untamed, hungry, unrelenting. Delivered like an album that had to be made, when S-K realized as a band they had more to say. I’m glad they did.
FCC CLEAN. Favorites (**) = 3, 5, 6, 8, 10
RIYL S-K & related acts (Quasi, Wild Flag), Screaming Females, Ex Hex
1. (3:54) mid to fast. bang, we’re off. scratchy guitars become angry and downright manic, along with the singing from the p.o.v. of a working woman struggling to make ends meet.
2. (3:35) mid. dancy drums the backdrop for screeching riffs. yelped, vindictive vocals. “oohs” in chorus/fade out make it dreamier, slightly softer. abrupt ending.
3. *(3:07) mid. guitar scale in a downward spiral. Corin positively yells in this one, proud and reborn. feels like release.
4. (3:06) mid. title track. commentary on trying to escape into a place when maybe “it’s the nothing you love.” awesome, funky riffs and more space in between the vocals here. not my favorite but it’ll grow on you.
5. **(3:39) medium-fast. love this!!. bass notes toy with you, as does some deliberately breathy and dangerously sweet singing. anthemic, uplifting chorus: “no one here is taking notice/no outline will ever hold us/…invent our own kind of obscurity.” statement about the band?
6. **(3:19) mid. pounding tom fills, roaring distortion, menacing yet alluring “low hiss”ed vocals. “seduction, pure function/ that’s how I learned to speak.” goosebumps.
7. (2:16) mid to fast. intriguing, disjointed structure with some cool shifts in tone. words of want and frustration are spit at us, thrust forward.
8. *(3:24) mid. catchy lead single. the curling and unfurling metallic backing guitars are the dynamic backdrop to another declaration of reclaimed identity – “only I get to be punished by me.”
9. (2:25) mid. spring in her voice, Corin sings about the double-edged sword of fame in the music business. upbeat.. love the chorus and bridge.
10. *(3:38) slow to mid. wow. grand, distorted/echoey, mournful classic rock. the soundtrack to watching something burn to the ground. but there’s still that hint of reveling in it, despite everything. “if there’s no tomorrow, you better live.”