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Sleater Kinney originally formed in Olympia, WA in 1994 and quickly began turning heads in the “riot grrl” scene, a feminist hardcore punk scene originating out of the Pacific Northwest. Now the band’s eighth album is here and it’s been ten years since their previous effort The Woods.▼ Article continues below ▼
On No Cities, the band sounds raw and explosive – they build upon the catchy indie rock riffs introduced on The Woods and transform them into full-blown post-punk anthems. The album starts off with “Price Tag,” which is the most noteworthy track on the album. It begins with a catchy synth guitar melody and the drums quickly fall in place with an upbeat, reggae rhythm. Drummer Janet Weiss exhibits the most musical prowess here; channeling the spirits of Stewart Copeland and Carlton Barrett while utilizing tasteful rim shots throughout the song. The guitars hammer out jagged post punk chords that are reminiscent of the Medications, while singer Carrie Brownstein yells about greed and the errors of capitalism.
Other notable tracks include “Hey Darling,” “Bury Our Friends” and “A New Wave.” The album ends with “Fade,” a hard rock and roll anthem that could have better served as an introductory track that segues into “Price Tag.”
Overall, No Cities is a solid post-punk LP that celebrates the band’s reunification. Sleater-Kinney has not released an album in a decade, but the band has managed to preserve the best aspects of their artistic chemistry.
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