No Cities to Love
Want an exciting and raw indie punk-rock album to add to your collection? Get in line for Sleater-Kinney’s No Cities to Love. Don’t want the new Sleater-Kinney album? Fuck you.
Sorry to be blunt, but the riot grrrl trio’s eighth full-length absolutely rips, showcasing guitar and vocal interplay as gnarled and soulful as anything the band has released within its twenty-year career. With No Cities to Love, the band (Corin Tucker, Carrie Brownstein, and Janet Weiss) isn’t attempting to reinvent its sound, just reinvigorate it. The group sounds fresh, fiery, and, most importantly, good. Tracks like “Bury Our Friends,” and “Fangless” highlight the band’s intricate blending of piercing vocals amidst militant chord stabs.
Even within an album so full of impressive musical chops, No Cities to Love’s title track is easily the most addictive. In between warmly inviting guitar riffs and distortion comes a mischievous chorus complete with strangely angelic harmonies: “There are no cities / No cities to love / It’s not the cities, it’s the weather we love.” Easy to recall and a blast to shout, it’s not until the very end of the track that listeners get to experience the growth that two decades provides. Tucker shouts, “It’s not the weather, it’s the nothing we love / It’s not the weather, it’s the people we love.” No longer is this an angsty song full of kiss-offs, it’s an anthem about gaining perspective and understanding what’s important in life.
Similarly, in the melodic “Hey Darling,” Tucker exposes the band’s insecurity with its current hallowed position in the music world: “It seems to me / The only thing / That comes from fame / Is mediocrity.” Her voice quivers aggressively, the song done and dusted in just over two minutes, but Sleater-Kinney’s authenticity and playfulness always leaves a listener wanting more.
This is music that’s intelligent, impassioned, and infectious. Get with it.