Sleater-Kinney - 'The Center Won't Hold'

8/10

Even the build up to this new release was filled with turbulent drama. When we found out that Sleater-Kinney would be making a return to release their ninth studio album 'The Center Won't Hold', we were also treated to the news that Annie Clark aka St. Vincent would be producing the record, leading to a wave of positive and exciting preview singles. However, things quickly turned on their side when news broke that original drummer and founding member Janet Weiss suddenly quit the band a few weeks prior to its release. But despite her now absence, the presence of each member seems fully invigorated on this new collection.

The release of 'The Center Won't Hold' also marks the 25th anniversary of the group, leading them to take on far more chances this time around. You would usually expect a band of their tenure to begin to slip into more comfortable surroundings, adopting safer and more crowd-pleasing aesthetics. But it is clear from the very start that they have no such interest to fall back into themselves as Anne Clark's production sees them reach for a more experimental edge to their sound, leading to a series of bold and exciting new cuts that move the band away from their formative sound and into something far more enticing.

Times may have changed, and Sleater-Kinney look more than keen to keep moving with them. 'The Center Won't Hold' is an unrelenting juggernaut of fresh and captivating ideas, all slipping nicely into that alternative pop dynamic that St. Vincent has introduced them to. This is not a case of a band coming to the end of their wave, but the beginning of something new and interesting for their fans to get stuck into.

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