What do the economy, feminism and obscurity have in common? These are all themes that you can find within the lyrics of the new Sleater-Kinney album.
Sleater-Kinney was created by Carrie Brownstein (“Portlandia”) at the tail end of the “riot grrrl” movement in Olympia, Wash., an underground feminist hardcore punk movement. They were active from 1994 to 2006 and released seven albums within this time.
After a nearly 10-year hiatus, this three piece, all female, indie punk band recorded in secret the album “No Cities to Love,” and released it through the record label Sub Pop at the beginning of this year.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with punk music, I’ll give you a small overview. Any band that claims the title “punk” in any way will always write songs that reflect their feelings, ideals and political views without any hesitation. Discontentment is a prerequisite for forming a punk band. Punk bands don’t usually associate with the mainstream either.
Even if you’re not the type of person who buys clothing that’s black and studded, hates his or her parents or channels post-adolescent rage through physical aggression, I still think that you should give this album a listen.
I discovered Sleater-Kinney on my Facebook feed through an article about their new music video. This video for their single “A New Wave” (which featured the animation of one of my favorite comedy shows, “Bob’s Burgers”) showed the frustrated teenager Tina Belcher popping an album into her CD player and the band playing an imaginary concert in her bedroom.
I figured that if my favorite animated character loved this band, I should probably check them out. Turns out that Tina has a great taste in music and I was far from disappointed with Sleater-Kinney’s new album “No Cities to Love.”
The first song, “Price Tag,” transports you to a fog-filled concert hall, complete with lasers, screaming 14-year-old girls, the reverberation of the bass pedal throughout your entire body and that one sweaty guy that you just can’t seem to get away from. The album takes you on a journey from the initial excitement of the beginning of a set to the dancy song that everyone knows to the eventual expenditure of your last drop of energy during the encore.
This album includes classic punk guitar riffs, strong bass guitar lines, fast-paced drums and instantly catchy melodies. The lyrics of each song are carefully but playfully constructed and of course include the band’s strong feminist ideals.
“No Cities to Love” has all of the angst and urgency of the Ramones but the finesse and flair of Taylor Swift. The best time to listen to this album would be cardio day at the gym or on max volume in your dorm room when you’re mad at the world and just want to punch the air. I would recommend Sleater-Kinney to anyone, regardless of his or her music taste.