Home Read Classic Album Review: Sleater-Kinney | One Beat

Classic Album Review: Sleater-Kinney | One Beat

The indie-punk trio flirt with everything from blues and surf to R&B and metal.

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This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):

 


There’s more to life than punk rock. Even for indie-punk queens like Sleater-Kinney.

This Olympia-born trio just wrapped up a year-long hiatus during which singer Corin Tucker had a baby, guitarist Carrie Brownstein went back to school and drummer Janet Weiss made music with her ex-husband. Now, they’ve channelled all that personal individual growth into their group dynamic, making their sixth album One Beat their most adventuresome, artistic and ambitious disc. Expanding their crashing, yelping punk with snatches of everything from blues and surf to R&B and metal, augmenting their twin-guitar-and-drum attack with keyboards, strings and horns, and, most importantly, tackling topics like motherhood and the events (and politics) of 9/11, Sleater-Kinney produce glorious songs like Faraway, Step Aside, Hollywood Ending and Sympathy. These are songs that crackle with electricity and tension. Songs that hit you simultaneously in the head, heart and guts. And songs that find them inching them closer to the literate post-punk of Patti Smith without disowning their riot-grrrl roots. Another year older and deeper indeed.