Sleater-Kinney's "No Cities to Love"
Over the past few years we’ve seen reunions (most of them fruitful) of bands including Outkast, The Afghan Whigs, Mazzy Star, Soundgarden, Pixies, The Replacements and Slowdive. It’s been a popular trend in music, and continues today as one of rock’s most influential all-female groups, Sleater-Kinney, releases their eighth album, No Cities to Love.
Sleater-Kinney formed in 1994 in Olympia, Washington. Named after an actual road - exit 108 on I-5 in Lacey, Washington, the band has served as one of the pioneering acts of Riot grrrl, a feminist punk rock movement that's mostly known to have originated in Washington D.C. in the early 1990s and, later, in the Pacific Northwest.
Sleater-Kinney released several albums from 1995 to 2005 – all of which received positive acclaim upon release. Sleater-Kinney was named “America’s Best Rock Band” by Time magazine in 2001.
In 2006, after the release of their album The Woods, Sleater-Kinney entered an unexplained hiatus which resulted in all members exploring solo projects, collaborations, and in the case of Carrie Brownstein, refining some comedic talents with friend Fred Armisen on the wildly popular IFC sketch-comedy show Portlandia.
At the end of 2014, the band announced the end of their hiatus and that they were actively working on a new record slated for release in early 2015. The album, in true Sleater-Kinney form, is a fierce and wild ride. It’s an aggressive yet thoughtful 32 minutes of rekindled chemistry and a newly achieved level of maturity in songwriting, with production that shows that stepping back and letting things rest might be the key to successfully showing an old dog new tricks.
The bittersweet quality of this highly anticipated reunion lies in the band's statement that there really are no further plans beyond a new record and a subsequent tour, and that it’s now a take-it-as-it-comes agenda. For me, that kind of spontaneity and uncertainty is one of the strongest fibers of a beautiful and successful reunion.