SLEATER-KINNEY: One Beat: CD

Sleater-Kinney impress the hell out of me. They’ve been creating sonic-filled sounds for almost a decade and always manage to jolt this listener with intelligent, catchy, ferocious, and beautiful music. The seesaw vocal and guitar work of Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein, melding with the genius drumming of Janet Weiss, are elements one comes to expect from a Sleater-Kinney release. But the ladies have introduced themselves to a new assault of instrumentation; theramins, synthesizers and even horns! Admittedly, this CD took a while to embrace – a shift from the norm will do that. But the realization that this is an outstanding album, full of unexpected twists and turns, is wildly rewarding. The Sleater-Kinney core is the same, but the shell’s got a little more pizzazz. And with the lyrics, “I look to the sky and ask it not to rain on my family tonight,” (“Far Away”) and “Let’s break out our old machines now, it sure is good to see them run again,” (“Combat Rock”) one can easily sense the band’s finger on the pulse of what’s relevant. But they know how to mix it up with just the right amount of carefree attitude with Carrie sweetly singing, “The way I feel when you call my name, makes me go crazy to sane.” (“Oh!”) Sleater-Kinney get a gold star for this one! Lyric-I-can’t-get-out-of-my-head props go to: “Could I turn this place upside down and shake you and your fossils out?”

 –kat (Kill Rock Stars)