In 1994, when Sleater-Kinney arrived on the scene, grunge/alternative rock had, for the most part, seen its swift yet potent “golden age” come and go. With the doors flung wide open, radio-friendly imitators were swarming in in droves, much to the disdain of early fans, yet simultaneously to the immense satisfaction of label heads and radio programmers. Yes, the mid-to-late-90s made weird with the “rawk” as it packaged it into more and more consumer-friendly parcels. But rock ‘n roll can never truly die, so it was up to bands like Sleater-Kinney to do what any good rock and roller would do: Get weirder.
Words: Paul Photos: Kevin
I know it seems odd to use the term “evolution” in reference to a band that only came into existence at the end of last year but I could think of no better term what I saw from Wild Flag this year. Within eight short months, Wild Flag gave an inspired (if raw) debut performance at the Black Cat, released a fantastic album, and finally returned this past Thursday as fully formed rock stars flexing their muscles at the same venue. It is a rare thing indeed to be able to witness this type of change from a national act in such a tight window of time.
When Wild Flag first played the Black Cat in February, I had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that two members of Sleater Kinney, the lead singer of Helium, and the drummer from the Minders had formed a band that had been getting rave reviews on its first tour. There was no album, no video, nothing to indicate what their live show would be like. But reputation and curiosity were enough to get me, the rest of the CG staff, and a sold out crowd through the door – a door which they proceeded to blow off its hinges.