Wild Flag - Future Crimes b/w Glass Tambourine [7-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

Wild Flag

Future Crimes b/w Glass Tambourine [7-inch] (2011)


In 1978, the four stadium rockers in KISS saw fit to release four solo albums, reasoning that since people loved KISS so dang much, surely four new KISS records would sell better than one. They were wrong, but at least Ace Frehley gave the world his version of "New York Groove", a perfect blend of glam, soul and sheer force of will.

Now it is the year 2011 A.D., and the members of Sleater-Kinney are, I am convinced, pulling a classic KISS move. Last year, past and future SK singer/guitar slinger Corin Tucker dropped 1,000 Years, a stunning blend of classic rock and folkie conviction. This year, the rest of Sleater-Kinney, guitarist/vocalist Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss, have finally issued their recorded debut as Wild Flag for Record Store Day. Also featuring Mary Timony (ex-Helium) on guitar and Rebecca Cole (ex-the Minders) on keyboard, Wild Flag's first single is both a successful artistic endeavor and a cruel war on my wallet.

"Glass Tambourine" is the first of two songs, and it's just different enough from Sleater-Kinney to disappoint on the first listen. Weiss is still a basher, but the tune overall is more psychedelic than anything SK ever pursued. Flecks of Jimi Hendrix Experience soloing and Summer of Love melodies drive this number, and in time its more psych-laden ways bury deep. Subvert and dominate.

"Future Crimes" has a little bit of that same psych touch, but it's less trippy. Brownstein lays out a set of lyrics burning with longing while Cole tries to keep up on the keys. A nervous energy pervades. The guitars needle while the drums hold it down.

At only two songs, it's hard to predict where Wild Flag will go beyond this single. But hot dang if things don't look even more promising than they did before. Wild Flag: More busy-savvy than KISS.