Sleater-Kinney - Little Rope


Loma Vista



Product No.:
ALRV 40216
UPC: 888072539303
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Vinyl Record


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Sleater-Kinney's 11th album Little Rope

Rock duo process shock and grief on 2024 release

Lindsay Zoladz, writing for The New York Times, says "Nearly 20 years ago, when Sleater-Kinney released its towering seventh album The Woods, there was a convincing case to be made that the trio was the most vital, and underrated, working American rock band."

Born of the fervent feminist spirit of the riot grrrl movement and the Pacific Northwest's fertile D.I.Y. scene, the group spent the second half of the '90s releasing increasingly sophisticated punk albums and eventually, on its righteous 2002 release "One Beat," maturing into one of the few indie-rock bands making meaningful protest music in the aftermath of 9/11.

The Woods kicked things into a higher gear. "The twitchy electricity of Carrie Brownstein's guitar, the embodied howl of Corin Tucker's vocals and the earth-quaking force of Janet Weiss's drums collided in a glorious cacophony, making noise that sounded less like songs than melodic thunderstorms," Zoladz writes.

The band has been a duo since 2019, featuring Brownstein and Tucker. On Little Rope, they've made one of their finest, most delicately layered records in the band's nearly 30-year career.

On the surface, the album's 10 songs veer from spare to anthemic, catchy to deliberately hard-turning. But beneath that are perhaps the most complex and subtle arrangements of any Sleater-Kinney record, and a lyrical and emotional compass pointed firmly in the direction of something both liberating and terrifying: the sense that only way to gain control is to let it go.

In the Autumn of 2022, Carrie Brownstein received a call from Corin Tucker, who herself had just received a call from the American embassy in Italy. Years earlier, Brownstein listed Tucker as her emergency contact on a passport form, and while she had since changed her phone number, Tucker had not. The embassy staff were desperately trying to reach Brownstein. When they finally did, they told her what happened: While vacationing in Italy, Brownstein's mother and stepfather had been in a car accident. Both were killed.

In the months that followed, Brownstein took solace in an act that felt deeply familiar — playing guitar. "I don't think I've played guitar that much since my teens or early twenties," she says. "Literally moving my fingers across the fretboard for hours on end to remind myself I was still capable of basic motor skills, of movement, of existing."

As Brownstein and Tucker moved through the early aftermath of the tragedy, elements of what was to become the emotional backbone of Little Rope began to form — how we navigate grief, who we navigate it with, and the ways in which it transforms us. Sometimes the process of putting the songs together involved Tucker and Brownstein alone in a room with nothing more than a couple of guitars and amplifiers - a process unchanged since the band started recording in the mid-90s. Sometimes songs that started out quiet slowly transformed into something triumphant. Sometimes the triumphant ones turned out to be quiet songs in disguise.

The result is a collision of certainty and uncertainty that's evident from the first few spare seconds of the record's opening track, "Hell," where over an agoraphobic expanse of tone and a trickle of chords, Little Rope's emotional thesis statement begins to take form:

Hell don't have no worries
Hell don't have no past
Hell is just a signpost when you take a certain path

It's a restrained, controlled prologue, but control is fleeting. A few seconds later, well, all hell breaks loose.


Side A
Needlessly Wild
Say It Like You Mean It
Hunt You Down
Small Finds

Side B
Don’t Feel Right
Six Mistakes
Dress Yourself
Untidy Creature

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