Path of Wellness [Limited Opaque White]
The album — their first in 25 years — sounds best when Tucker and Brownstein allow themselves to let loose, be funny, and have fun.
The scorching “Tomorrow’s Grave” has a sublime guitar solo as well as some characteristically witchy lyrics about being “the drought,” and “the barren land,” à la Dig Me Out’s “Jenny.” On the moody “Method,” Brownstein sings like she’s looking out the window at the rain as bluesy guitars unfurl around her. “Worry With You” captures the cheeky overconfidence of having three beers and then hopping on your bike. These songs aren’t exactly outliers, but they are some of the only ones that feel playful, where Brownstein and Tucker seem to be directly engaging with you.
Path of Wellness has the same aura as almost all previous Sleater-Kinney records. It’s tight as hell; Tucker’s wailing mezzo-soprano is as brutal and uncompromising as ever.