Nicholas A. Moskov
This record is a major shift in the sound of the band. They have striped down there sound and the instrumentation is more immediate than ever. Many of the songs a structured similarly, but Sleater Kinney is very aware of this and keep the album high energy and concise, with only a 32 minute run time.. This is their most accessible work to date, with many of the songs fitting into indie radio station playlist very easily.
The best songs on this album are the ones where Sleater Kinnney work with a concept. Songs like “Fangless,” No Cities to Love, “Bury Our Friends,” and “Hey Darling,” really find a great balance between being a concept song while not being too theoretical or uninteresting.
Songwriting on this project is as strong ever. Price Tag, the first song on the album, is anticapitalist song that describes the grind of daily work. Tuckers vibrato voice shouts like a desperate battle cry saying “I was lured by the devil, I was lured by the cost, I was lured by the fear the love we had was lost, I was blind by the money, I was numb from the glee.” This album is filled with insightful lyrics and depth beyond that of the majority of indie rock that is coming out today.
Even on lesser songs like “Surface Envy,” they bring these elements, even if they are pushed to the point of sounding corny. “A New Wave,” still has great lines like “It’s not a new wave, it’s just you and me, we invent our own obscurity” These lesser songs still play into the album and don’t decrease it momentum.
No Cities to Love is a good comeback record, which isn’t easy to do considering expectations for such a pivotal band are incredibly high. This album doesn’t just introduce a whole new generation to Sleater Kinney but also brings angry, punk style rebellion to a generation washed out with over-reverberated, euphoric indie music and reminds us it isn’t cool to be a preppy suburban kid. It might not be the album the old Sleater Kinney wanted, but it is still an enjoyable listen.
Here is the music video to the lead single: