"We sound possessed on these songs," says guitarist/vocalist Carrie Brownstein about Sleater-Kinney's eighth studio album, No Cities to Love. "Willing it all – the entire weight of the band and what it means to us – back into existence."
The new record is the first in 10 years from the acclaimed trio – Brownstein, vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker, and drummer Janet Weiss – who came crashing out of the '90s Pacific Northwest riot grrrl scene, setting a new bar for punk's political insight and emotional impact. Formed in Olympia, WA in 1994, Sleater-Kinney were hailed as "America's best rock band" by Greil Marcus in Time Magazine, and put out seven searing albums in 10 years before going on indefinite hiatus in 2006.
But the new album isn't about reminiscing, it's about reinvention, the ignition of an unparalleled chemistry to create new sounds and tell new stories. "I always considered Corin and Carrie to be musical soulmates,"
says Weiss, whose drums fuel the fire of Tucker and Brownstein's vocal and guitar interplay. "Something about taking a break brought them closer, desperate to reach together again for their true expression." The result is a record that grapples with love, power and redemption without restraint.
Produced by longtime Sleater-Kinney collaborator John Goodmanson, who helmed many of the band's earlier albums including 1997 breakout set Dig Me Out, No Cities to Love is indeed formidable from the first beat. Sleater-Kinney's decade apart made room for family and other fruitful collaborations, as well as an understanding of what the band's singular chemistry demands. "Sleater-Kinney isn't something you can do half-assed or half-heartedly,” says Brownstein. “This band requires a certain desperation, a direness. We have to be willing to push because the entity that is this band will push right back."
"The core of this record is our relationship to each other, to the music, and how all of us still felt strongly enough to about those to sweat it out in the basement and to try and reinvent our band," adds Tucker. With No Cities to Love, "we went for the jugular."
Packaging: 6-panel digipack with 16-page booklet and custom dust sleeve