Sleater-Kinney

No Cities to Love (Sub Pop)

Phases & Stages

Sleater-Kinney

No Cities to Love (Sub Pop)

Layoff spurred no staleness in the newly regrouped Sleater-Kinney. The Olympia-born trio's first LP in a decade sounds as brazen as ever. Coupling punk rock sass with unbridled passion, the Portlanders' eighth album commences on a relatable blue-collar note, as fraught-rock opener "Price Tag" chronicles a kids-carting mother's penny-pinching plight while grocery shopping: "They reach for the good stuff/ Let's stay off the label/ Just 'til we're able." In 32 minutes, the pioneering Nineties riot grrrls still exude that movement's ethos – with an expressive and empowering spirit: "No outline will ever hold us," assures Corin Tucker in "A New Wave," later adding, "I am raw material." During S-K's decade hiatus, Tucker raised two kids, drummer Janet Weiss joined Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, and guitarist Carrie Brownstein launched short-lived band Wild Flag and co-created enduring sketch comedy series Portlandia. Its recording kept under wraps for nearly two years, the Oregonians' confident comeback is balls-out bold, the threepiece returning with fresh vitality. "Bury Our Friends" encapsulates the women's second coming: "My body has no need for sleep this time around." (Sleater-Kinney razes Stubb's April 17)

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