Ten or so years ago Greil Marcus described them as America’s best rock band. Time has moved on since then and we have all grown a little older, so could he still be right.
As it happens there is the posibility he might be.
I saw Sleater Kinney last night. I had been a fan back when Greil Marcus was saying his stuff and The Woods was my favourite album of that year. But they had faded away after for a while and the CD of The Woods ended up on a shelf out of reach and it was years since I had listened to them.
But then news started to filter through that they were playing again and about to release some more music and so I found the shelf that The Woods had been lurking on and the LPs that were in the attic and listened to them all over again.
If your rock music is going to be the best then it needs to be loud and flashy and offer the hope of redemption and release. Sleater Kinney delivered all that and added some feral, carnal desire to go on top with added scissor kicks.
Ten years ago the only competition, to my mind was another all female band, Electralane, strange that they also faded from view and a pity that they are not up there still battling it out for the top place.
But now as we live through a time when the biggest band in the world is apparently One Direction we need a time and a place where a couple of thousand people can watch three women pummel hard at guitars and drums creating a scratchy urgent punk rock. Punk, not because its three chords and nowhere to go, but punk because it is putting together noise and ideas.
The noise and ideas were put together last night and as they collided we found ourselves watching yet again America’s best rock band.