Finally, a supergroup that’s actually super. For those who thought Mister Heavenly was good-not-great, Them Crooked Vultures were disappointing and Monsters of Folk were positively sleep-inducing, enter Wild Flag. Two parts Sleater-Kinney (Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss), one part Helium (Mary Timony), one part The Minders (Rebecca Cole) and many parts other various bands these ladies have been involved in during the past couple decades (Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, Quasi, Autoclave, Excuse 17, etc.), the Portland/Washington D.C. foursome sounds utterly, unfuckwittably fierce on paper alone.
Luckily, the promise is kept in the music as well. Throughout Wild Flag, guitars reign as king, like so many triumphant Brownstein rock kicks in concert. But on songs like “Romance” and “Boom,” the hooks creep in as well, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along. In fact, for all the easy comparisons—Sleater-Kinney fans still holding out for a reunion will find plenty to enjoy throughout here—and the fact that these are all seasoned musicians in a brand-new band, the real joy of Wild Flag is just that: the joy. These songs are like shit-eating grins from ear to ear, and you can simply feel that they’re played with such happiness, especially with lyrics that are so exuberant that, well, there’s no way to follow this up: “We dance ‘til we’re dying / we dance to free ourselves from the room / We love the sound / the sound is what found us / sound is the blood between me and you.”