For the past decade, Sleater-Kinney has won a sizable fan base with a perfectly decent pop-rock formula. Atypical guitar chords, foot-tapping rhythms and Corin Tuckers polarizing voice have kept listeners guessing over six albums, cementing the trios status as an American indie-rock mainstay. So who would have thought that The Woods could make 10 years of music seem so complacent? The bands seventh album is a career-changing behemoth, charged with kidney-punch production that makes every crackling chord and thudding drum sound murderous. Opener The Fox is out for bloodits overloaded mega-riffs let up only for Tuckers quick gasps of air, and she speaks volumes when closing the song by screaming, Theres no looking back. The poppy jangle of Whats Mine Is Yours is supercharged with a raw guitar undercurrent, and its muddy, feedback-laden breakdown turns the whole thing into a classic, while Jumpers evolves from tension to utter panic thanks to guitarist Carrie Brownsteins best-ever S-K vocal performance. Theres also the charm of Modern Girl, the drum-heavy anthem of Entertain and the 11-minute classic-rock rampage of Lets Call It Love. Hell, even The Woods lesser songs overshadow older material. After 10 years, consider this new release a greatest-hits album.


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