We feel for you. Except for some aggrieved MRAs, the culture as a whole has already deemed 2015 the year of Sleater-Kinney. The celebration of the back-from-break riot grrrl rock gods has been so thunderous that we're sure any day Disney is going to announce they're bumping that Star Wars movie until 2016, when the world might have the brainspace to give a damn.
This year is all about No Cities to Love, that rare band-reunited record that sounds like its band never stopped: Urgent and ferocious, scraped free of nostalgia, it finds S-K forging ahead with new sounds, new concerns, and no looking back. The only thing old-school about it: its principled, passionate greatness.
But maybe you just haven't ever felt it. Maybe those intricate, interlocking guitar lines don't hit you like power chords would. Maybe the band's big-idea earnestness leaves you cold — lyrics like "Culture is what we make it/Now is the time to invent" are as removed from alt's miserable abstractions as they are from indie's pained coolness. Or maybe it's Corin Tucker's five-alarm vocals, which on songs like the glorious "Little Mouth" can make you feel you're on the southern end of a northbound dragster.
Even the band doesn't think you should feel bad if Tucker's caterwaul isn't your thing. A couple weeks back Carrie Brownstein told the Times, "The deal-breaker element of art, that's really important to me. I like that there can be something that might be unpalatable for a lot of people. Because it makes fans that love it that much more fervent, that much more committed to it, committed to its strangeness, committed to its outsiderness."
So maybe you, for whatever reason, feel like an outsider to these outsiders. Here's six #1 Must Haves to invite you in. More »