39.) Sleater Kinney - The Woods (2005)
Shit, I love Sleater Kinney. They are easily one of my top 10 favorite bands of all time. They are a band that I feel lucky to have been around for. I feel lucky to have seen them (more than half a dozen times), lucky to have been able to buy most of their records on their actual street dates, lucky to have been able to pore over such a great recorded output before the internet destroyed the way we consume music. They're just great.
As of now they are on a indefinite hiatus and if they never come back (which, shit I hope isn't the case) they left this world on a high note few could hope to reach.
I remember reading something about how Sleater Kinney were my generations Clash. That's one of the truest music journalism statements I have ever read. They were. In fact, no one else even registers. But what then of The Woods, a straight-up, balls-out classic rock record? This fucking thing was, and still is mind you, arena ready. What made the women of Sleater Kinney take a break from punk and indulge their inner rock god? A change of pace perhaps. Maturity maybe. Honestly, I don't care.
As a huge fan of the band, I can say I was not expecting The Woods. Not at all. But I was never mad at it either. It wasn't the Sleater Kinney that I knew and I loved at the time, but it was one I was damn sure gonna grow to love. While The Woods, especially the 11 minutes opus "Let's Call It Love" and the guitar solo into breakdown of "What's Mine Is Yours", seemed to be the antithesis of the Sleater Kinney mantra, it also proved something we should have known about Sleater Kinney all along and that's fuck the mantra, man. The mantra doesn't matter. Things change, tastes change, people change. That's life.
Sleater Kinney proved with The Woods that they were the baddest motherfuckers in the world. This is a damn fine rock 'n roll record and one I play with almost the same regularity as Dig Me Out. So, change is good sometimes and if this is the last we ever hear of Sleater Kinney (please don't let this be the last we hear of Sleater Kinney) then at least they went out firmly on top.
Posted by Pat Driscoll