Sleater-Kinney – Little Rope

A chronicle of loss and howling lead lines, Sleater Kinney’s signature two-prong songwriting style is raw but still leaves us hankering for more

Album Review by Cheri Amour | 15 Jan 2024
  • Sleater-Kinney – Little Rope
Album title: Little Rope
Artist: Sleater-Kinney
Label: Loma Vista
Release date: 19 Jan

Living in a world of perpetual crisis, it’s unsurprising that the vital backbone of Portland duo Sleater-Kinney’s first record in three years is grief. It’s a universal experience we all recognise in different ways, whether it’s the harrowing headlines or the noticeable loss of the band's trailblazing drummer Janet Weiss who exited the band in 2019

But for guitarist Carrie Brownstein, this particular loss was raw. In autumn of last year, the Italian Embassy informed Brownstein that her mother and stepfather had been killed in a road accident. As the haunting Hunt You Down reflects, she was having to confront her worst fears. Don’t Feel Right finds the songwriter grasping everyday tasks for stability while Six Mistakes contemplates the unfathomable truth ('I stood outside your house last night / Wanted to see your face') as howling lead lines spiral against Corin Tucker’s caterwaul call. 

The band have admitted there’s a focus on Tucker to take the lead on Little Rope but a recent Jimmy Kimmel Live performance of Say It Like You Mean It didn’t really showcase either. Instead the stadium-sized singalong wades into an anthemic singalong circa 2008 Kings of Leon. But then perhaps that’s every rock behemoth’s right of passage? Brownstein admitted at a recent intimate warm-up date in London that these are the shows she prefers playing. Sleater-Kinney’s decade-spanning songwriting style feels the same. Give us the electrifying assault and brutal guitar tones to fill those tiny cracks now present in our hearts. Give us a little more rope.

Listen to: Needlessly Wild, Small Finds, Don’t Feel Right