Written by Max Bryan


Quintessential riot grrrl group Sleater-Kinney released their 11th studio album last month, Little Rope. Little Rope marks the band’s third album as a duo. The project had been ongoing for years, but the album’s direction was changed after the death of band member Carrie Brownstein’s mother and stepfather. The result is an album exploring complex themes of grief in tandem with political and social unrest in the world. The name of the album, Little Rope, depicts the theme of coping- using a rope as a metaphor for something to cling to.


The themes of sorrow and heartache are inescapable throughout the album, but the heavy themes don’t drag the album into melancholia. The duo doesn’t dwell on their pain but rather use their pain to fuel the energy  of the album. The tone of the songs ranges from sardonic to gloomy, to anguished, but it never once dwells on misery. The album opens with the track “Hell”, which features melodramatic slow verses juxtaposed with an explosive chorus, casting the mood of the album wonderfully. This album avoids filler at all costs jumping from mood to mood while managing to avoid listener whiplash. Songs such as “Needlessly Wild”, “Crusader”, and “Hunt You Down” are some of the poppiest songs in the band’s catalog, but other songs such as “Small Finds”, “Six Mistakes”, and “Untidy Creature” feature similar angst that Sleater-Kinney debuted with.


Overall, this album is worth checking out for any fan of alt-rock music. If you’re like me, who’s a fan of Sleater-Kinney’s older work but hasn’t listened to their newer projects, it’s absolutely worthwhile . The artistic progression of the band is fascinating to observe. Little Rope doesn’t quite keep the flare that drew in their original fanbase; it has been almost 30 years since their debut, so it’s natural for their sound to evolve. However, the album offers a wide range of fresh artistic and sonic flavors to enjoy , allowing a listener like myself to enjoy the album. Little Rope is available to stream on all platforms or can be found at your local record  !


Strongest Tracks: “Hell”, “Small Finds”.

Listen if you like: Throwing Muses, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, St. Vincent,