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.
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
"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
Dig Me Out may be all the more satisfying...
rest of this story (and tour dates), please use "Continued" icon below.]