Sleater-Kinney are kind of like capers: you either really like them, or you really don’t. Perhaps the most polarizing quality about them was the sound of Corin Tucker’s voice — that aside, the musicianship was almost always razor sharp and drum tight, and their breakup was a mixed bag of sadness. The reunion of drummer Janet Weiss (previously of the delectably square-jawed Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks) and guitarist Carrie Brownstein is therefore both wonderful, because they are excellent musicians, and — despite the fact this may be Riot Grrrl sacrilege — free of the histrionics of Tucker’s vocals. Joined by Mary Timony (Helium), and Rebecca Cole (The Minders), the four come together like a Pacific Northwest rock-and-roll Voltron to create Wild Flag. Commenting on likelihood of the union, Merge Records stated on their website that “if someone drew a visual representation illustrating the ways in which all indie bands are interconnected, Brownstein, Cole, Timony, and Weiss would be in the same tiny sphere, so playing together felt almost inevitable.” Amen.
Merge recently made “Romance,” one of the tracks off the upcoming self-titled Wild Flag album (slated for release on September 13, 2011) available for preview on their website — not only is it a fabulous track, it gives a certain promise to the quality of the rest of the album. It’s all kinds of awesome summer jam, clearly meant for playing as loud as you can (until your neighbors threaten to call the landlord, and then some). Brownstein and Timmony are magnificently complimentary to each other: the music is infectious and the lyrics make you want to shout them at the top of your lungs. It will put the dance in your pants, it will make you want to whip out your hairbrush microphone. And, really, who can resist a song with clapping?
Go forth. Check it out. These ladies go together like ramalamama-ba-ding-a-ding-ding-a-dong!