Sleater-Kinnney still have that anti-establishment bite, despite the fact that they’re now in their forties. Frenetic opener “Price Tag” laments the sheep mentality of the system we clock into and their lyrics continue to pack a clever punch: on the bridge of “Bury Our Friends” Brownstein sings, “Make me a headline/I wanna feel that bold/Make me a spotlight/So I can see the gold”.
Brownstein and Tucker’s complex, evolving relationship over the years has not seemed to damage their frontwoman dynamic but rather make it more intense. On the three top tracks of the album, “No Cities To Love”, “Bury Our Friends” and “A New Wave”, they play catch with each other’s lines and guitar melodies, Brownstein screechy, Tucker softer, falling back into their seamless partnership.
More sophisticated than your average punk band, they know how to give their songs distinct personalities. “Gimme Love” intensifies with Weiss’ stutter-y drumming and strong dynamics in vocals. The mood darkens on “No Anthems”, filled with “Cold Turkey” guitar tenseness that breaks into a storm of a chorus. Bright, plummeting notes create the sweet & sour waterfall of “Hey Darling”.
Wild and weary these girls may be, but they show no signs of giving in.