We charted Sleater-Kinney's epic rock odyssey. We listened to their entire oeuvre (from their eponymous debut to 2005’s Into the Woods) in seven hours. We journo-stalked Portland-based guitarist Carrie Brownstein from side project Wild Flag to her IFC show Portlandia (and took Portlandia Abroad). From riot grrls to “Girls,” we've been there.
As of now, the Olympia punk heroes are officially back together. We are so ready.
Today marks the release of No Cities to Love, the legendary band's first studio album in ten years. Given Sleater-Kinney's pre-break-up reputation (in 1999, Greil Marcus famously called them "the best band in the world"), the buzz about their eighth album—recorded last year in secret at San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone Recordings and Portland’s Kung Fu Bakery—has reached fever pitch since Sub Pop announced the record last October.
The New York Times’ Jon Pareles is already calling No Cities to Love “the first great album of 2015.” NPR streamed the album for a full week prior to today’s release. Friends from Fred Armisen to Andy Samberg and Miranda July turned on their web cams to sing along with the title track. And last Friday, David Letterman invited “the kids” to take it away for a live performance of “A New Wave.” (Scroll down for both videos.)
On January 20 (tonight!), Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein, and Janet Weiss again rock the late night stage on Conan. In early February, the band will launch a four-month international tour (which lands in Portland on May 5). Will the comeback be epic? Will Sleater-Kinney conquer the known universe? One thing’s for sure: the reunited trio remains ferocious.
“Sleater-Kinney isn’t something you can do half-assed or half-heartedly,” Brownstein said in an October 2014 press release from Sub Pop. “We have to really want it. This band requires a certain desperation, a direness.”
Added Tucker: with No Cities to Love, “we went for the jugular.”