Last we heard from Sleater-Kinney was when they crossed over the Washington State pond to Seattle’s Sub Pop from Olympia’s Kill Rock Stars, as well as swapped their longtime producer John Goodmanson to Dave Fridman. While the switches probably sounded blasphemous on paper, they certainly didn’t sound that way when ears landed upon the resulting album, 2005’s The Woods — an expansion of their razor-sharp punk rock to arena-sized heights that nobody expected would become their masterpiece.
Distortion goes from 10 to 11 and Janet Weiss’ drumming comes front-and-center more than ever to create this dense, live, and fulfilling listening experience — one that a listener must associate with any winning punk rock record. Though spread out over the course of 48 minutes, this experience is wholly consumed and best exemplified within the five minutes that is the harrowing third track, “What’s Mine Is Yours.”
A freshly constructed piece of rollicking rock, it kicks off with a damn-near impenetrable ping-pongy two-note hook under Corin Tucker’s storied vocals and builds up to a instrumental plateau from all parties involved, with Carrie Brownstein’s guitar work in top form. It comes back around to end the same way the track begins, but you know when you’ve arrived at track’s end that your hair is blown back, clothes stripped, and chest reciprocating heavily, having just witnessed the epitome of compelling and invigorating punk rock and, quite possibly, the equivalent of the best sex of your life.
I think it’s safe to say this is my favorite Sleater-Kinney track, but it comes together even more magically on an album that brings together the elements the band is best at concocting and more.