Ever since they left my ears ringing last Friday I have been living, breathing, and listening nothing but Sleater-Kinney. Their crackling new effort “The Woods” could be their worst album yet, and given the nearly universal critical praise it has garnered that ought to tell you something.
Sleater-Kinney is one of those bands that everyone will try to scare you away from. Boy rock fans will paint them as hopelessly impenetrable grrls – Ani DiFranco as a power trio. Even their fans might portray them to you as scary hard-to-like feminists, and some of the more possessive might imply that the girl fans will mock you if you get up close at their shows. (Nothing could have been farther from the truth: the show staff were reduced to asking people who were sitting and dancing politely to move for want of any bad behavior to break up.)
Personally, I think you should give All Hands on the Bad One a listen and decide for yourself (at this point, it’s a good mid-career snapshot). My feeling is that they’re like Veruca Salt, only not just haplessly wandering from one pop song to the next. While you’re listening, get some much needed background info at the The Sleater-Kinney Archive, including this Janet Weiss interview (probably the best interview with a drummer i’ve ever read), and a great oldie article by Terri Sutton, whose writing is fairly entrancing. Or, check out probably the best tab page ever at Tk’s – tabs are written on paper with measures and note durations and then scanned in!