Washington punk rock institution Sleater-Kinney have released the newest single from their upcoming tenth studio album Path of Wellness, the fantastically fuzzy ‘High in the Grass’.
I somewhat dismissively pooh-poohed the now two-woman line-up of Sleater-Kinney when talking about their last single ‘Worry With You’, and I’m still not entirely O.K. with former drummer Janet Weiss’ absence, but ‘High in the Grass’ is proof that life goes on. Bands change, members come and go, and ultimately the internal politics of a band don’t have to have an impact on the listening experience unless the listener makes it an issue. I made it an issue on ‘Worry With You’. I am not making it an issue on ‘High in the Grass’.
‘High in the Grass’ is vintage Sleater-Kinney. Alternately angular, abrasive, and melodic, the song rocks and rolls through muted verses and explosive choruses, but nothing will out-blast that intro. I don’t know if it’s touring drummer Angie Boylan or some other guest musician featured on the track, but the opening beats are volcanic and incredible.
Loud drums will always be an easy way to my heart, and not harp on it, but it was something that Weiss specialised in. After the largely electronic rhythms of The Center Won’t Hold, nothing makes me happier than to hear loud, gigantic live drums in a Sleater-Kinney song. It feels like home.
Carrie Brownstein and Corin Tucker are keeping the Sleater-Kinney name alive on their own these days. Outside of the band, Brownstein is gearing up for the release of her upcoming mockumentary film The Nowhere Inn, which she co-wrote and co-stars in with St. Vincent mastermind Annie Clark. I have no idea if it’s going to be good or not, but I am excited to see two of my favorite artists send up their own images, which is always going to be a good time.
Check out the video for ‘High in the Grass’ down below. Path of Wellness will be released on June 11.