Wild Flag Wild Flag

Wild Flag Wild Flag
Five years after the unwelcome demise of Sleater-Kinney, two-thirds of the revered band have re-teamed as Wild Flag. Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss have reinvigorated the punk rock spirit of their former band with the help of two like-minded vets: Mary Timony (Helium, Soft Power) and Rebecca Cole (the Minders). Overtones of S-K are undeniably strong on their self-titled debut, and any die-hard fan waiting for a reunion should get their fix here. But Wild Flag are hardly an opportunity to reflect on the salad days. This is a brand new band, with a brand new sound that takes full advantage of the members' musical pedigree. All the hype and talk of being a "super-group" speaks to each member's individual talents, and these gals don't disappoint. Weiss is every bit the explosive drummer she's always been, and her bandmates have custom-made songs like "Future Crimes" and "Boom" for her to let loose. Brownstein's crying yelp and angular fretwork are the yin to Timony's yang of wispy calls and snaking riffs ― that they tag team on vocals and songwriting not only balances out the album, it presents one of the best one-two punches in the business. Not to be outdone, Cole's backing harmonies and new wavy contributions on the organ help give all of the music's edginess some extra "oomph" via a smattering of melody. While the "super-group" tag might seem a bit tall for this bunch of scrappy indie rockers, Wild Flag is the work of a group that can only be described as "super." (Merge)