Sleater-Kinney's Punk 'N' Roll Masterpiece

Ready to slit your throat.

With the release this week of Dig Me Out, Sleater-Kinney

clearly establish themselves as one of the great rock 'n' roll bands of our

time. Dig Me Out puts every other band on notice. This is life or death

rock 'n' roll.

Dig Me Out is a celebration. As they have in the

past, guitarists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein (now with new drummer Janet

Weiss) explore various forms of desire. This time out, however, their desire

encompasses a lust for life much more than a denial of death.

The album is

also a celebration of rock itself. Songs such as "Words + Guitar" (background

lyric: "Can't take this away from me / Music is the air I breathe") and "Little

Babies" revel in the form as much as Elvis' take on "Good Rockin' Tonight" or

the Ramones' "Rock 'N' Roll High School."

Credit for much of

Sleater-Kinney's bigger sonic boom goes to Weiss, a more traditional rock 'n'

roll drummer who bottoms out the band's bass-less sound. "She has totally

completed our band in a lot of ways," says Tucker. "Especially playing live,

she is totally great--completely ferocious, and skilled, and perfectionist.

She's everything."

Weiss provides the rhythmic muscle that Tucker and

Brownstein's joint songwriting skill has always demanded. On Dig Me Out

they perfect their art of vocal interplay that was so exhilarating on last

year's Call The Doctor. "Little Babies," for example, features Tucker

offering promises of comfort out front, while behind her Brownstein intones

"It's so good, it's so good, baby, I wish, I wish you would," and "It's so bad,

it's so bad, baby, I wish we never even had" in a manner that is positively

Prince-like.

"We definitely made an effort on Dig Me Out to work

with that [contrasting dynamic]," says Brownstein. "Corin's voice is very

chaotic, often, and very dynamic. I feel like my voice grounds the song when we

sing together. Like the conscience and the subconscience, the way they talk

back and forth to one another. We've definitely played this out a little bit

more."

Dig Me Out may be all the more satisfying...

[For the

rest of this story (and tour dates), please use "Continued" icon below.]