Greatest hits: album reviews

Album of the week - Sleater Kinney's No Cities to Love

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 07 February, 2015, 10:49pm
UPDATED : Friday, 17 April, 2015, 4:54pm

No Cities To Love
Sub Pop

With the return to action of L7 and Babes in Toyland, the feminist punk movement of the 1990s is about to witness a resurgence of its DIY indie punk philosophy.

Leading the way with the release of their eighth album, No Cities To Love, is the recently reformed Sleater-Kinney.

The trio made up of Excuse 17's Carrie Brownstein, thunderous tub thumper Janet Weiss and the wonderful wailing of Corin Tucker were the only band to truly transcend the riot grrrl scene of Olympia, Washington, releasing arguably their finest album of bludgeoning riffage The Woods just before they called it a day in 2006.

On this, their first album in almost a decade, the punk rock queens haven't missed a stomped beat, returning to the punchiness of Dig Me Out, sounding raw and ferocious and well, vital, in an age of sedated pretty-boy punk. Clocking in at just over 30 minutes, it's as subtle as a sledgehammer. Tucker laments the high cost of fame over the slashing angular guitars of Price Tag - it's chaotic and controlled, and one hell of a hello. Each of the tracks is a confrontational dagger of sonic energy, from the wild-eyed pop of Surface Envy to the anthemic No Anthems. The first single, Bury Our Friends, sees Tucker and Brownstein joust on vocals over a prickly chorus - "Exhume our idols and bury our friends / We're wild and weary but we won't give in".

The year may be in only its infancy, but expect this killer pop thrill ride to top many album-of-the-year awards.