American grrrls

by

comment

Here’s the drama you’ve been craving. After rising out of riot grrrl rage, creating six albums of lithe and literate somewhere-punk music, and rightfully ignoring reams of apologist rock crit hot air, Sleater-Kinney — the veterans — have made a transitional album. Here, Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss want more than the primal immediacy of their past work. Sounds carry longer on The Woods, from its warped and extended guitar solos to a scraggly, weighty bottom-end crafted by famed alt-rock producer Dave Fridmann. The hooks on “Entertain” are crisp and inventive, its lyrics a brow beat on hot and fussy boy rockers (“You come around looking like 1984/You’re such a bore ...”). But the song also has an unexpected coda of militant snare and snarling six-string. “The Fox” roars like the PJ Harvey of 15 years ago — it doesn’t want only punk barbs, but big and gristly rock ’n’ roll too. Meanwhile, the measured and dramatic “Modern Girl” is a compelling detour. S-K has always reinvented its righteousness, instrumentation and arrangements. But now it’s looking inward at that mystery spot where guitars, drums and strident voices meet. This record transitions Sleater-Kinney from a respected lightning rod into a revered rock band.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail letters@metrotimes.com.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.