The 10 best Sleater-Kinney songs, as chosen by Muncie Girls’ Lande Hekt
Muncie Girls’ Lande Hekt picks her essential Sleater-Kinney playlist
Though they hail from Exeter, UK trio Muncie Girls’ addictive indie-punk takes its cues from much further afield. This year’s debut album From Caplan To Belsize borrows from staple US scenes like garage punk, grunge and riot-grrrl, and has put them at the forefront of the burgeoning UK indie-punk scene – most recently earning them an invitation to share the stage with Billy Bragg at this year’s Glastonbury.
The band most crucial in providing inspiration to frontwoman Lande have been Olympia-based punk rockers Sleater-Kinney. Here, Lande talks us through their 10 best songs…
10. Get Up (The Hot Rock, 1999)
Lande: "I chose this song because of the video. It’s directed by Miranda July, and I think she’s brilliant, so I picked this because the video’s so good. I like the fact that the words are basically spoken – it’s such a creepy song, but it’s so much creepier when you watch the video. It’s really weird – I can’t even describe it, it’s like a cult – watching it with the video it makes the song much better because it has such an eerie vibe."
9. Combat Rock (One Beat, 2002)
"I was reading Carrie Brownstein’s memoir [Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl] and she talks about how Combat Rock is a nod to reggae, which was something they did intentionally to get away from the “straight-track” of rock and all the things that it represents – like white privileged men – because reggae’s not about that. Also, they’re Clash fans, so it works. It made me think a lot more about that song. That’s what’s so good about them – they don’t do anything just because, everything’s there for a reason. If you’re a fan, it’s good to read about all the songs, because it makes you fall in love even more. That’s why I chose this song."
8. Rollercoaster (The Woods, 2005)
"My favourite thing about this song, and why I chose it, is literally just because you can hear Janet [Weiss] drop her stick at the beginning. It’s amazing – there’s a pause, and you can hear it drop on the floor. They’ve obviously put it in intentionally, and I think that’s brilliant. Listen out for it – it’s quite loud. It’s a great song, but on this album they’re all great songs. The reason that I chose this one is that I like that they kept the drumstick dropping – it keeps a bit of realness.
7. Oh! (One Beat, 2002)
"I love this song because it’s demented – literally, what is it? It sounds so weird. It’s psychedelic, like from the 60s – it makes me feel like I’m on a weird acid trip or something, or like I’m in one of those weird episodes of the Simpsons where they’re hallucinating. I really love this song just because it’s so weird. I love One Beat, and this and [title track] One Beat are my two stand-out tracks from this album."
6. One Beat (One Beat, 2002)
"I really, really love the drum beat on this song. It’s totally unforgettable, and as an opener to a record, it’s just perfect. It’s a real statement. Sleater-Kinney produce album after album where they don’t disappoint, which is just so rare. Everyone else gets really bad reviews when they get to third album in or wherever, but they totally smash it every time."
5. I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone (Call The Doctor, 1996)
"I think this is an absolute rager. The chorus is insane. I remember hearing that for the first time and just being like “What. Is. This? This is not like music I have ever heard before in my life!” It’s not a nice noise that they’re making, but you listen to it a few more times and it’s just… ‘Oh my god, this is amazing’. This album is so good – every single song is good."
4. A New Wave (No Cities To Love, 2015)
"I put this in here because it sounds like they’re singing about coming off hiatus, and it’s a really positive song, but also the video is so good. They’re all in an episode of Bob’s Burgers. If you don’t know Bob’s Burgers, watch an episode, and then watch this video, because that way it’s even better. When they came off hiatus I was mainly excited about going to see them live because I was 13 when they went on hiatus, so never got to see them first time round. I think the album’s good, I’m just not crazy about it – there are a few songs on there that just sound a bit too much like straight up rock, and I’m not really into rock music as such – but there are a few songs on there are great, and this is one of them."
3. You’re No Rock n’Roll Fun (All Hands On The Bad One, 2000)
"I really love this. I often DJ this song, because when bands are playing, it’s a really good one to play, because of the line ‘all the boys in the band…’ I like that. It’s quite a jokey bit, and I always find it really funny, because I think if people were listening and heard that song they’d be lost for words. It’s a really catchy song."
2. Jumpers (The Woods, 2005)
"The Woods was the first Sleater-Kinney album I got. I love the way that it’s really experimental, but really hooky as well. I just really love it – the artwork is amazing as well. Jumpers is about 9/11, which is something that wasn’t really done, especially by American bands. They didn’t want to touch it because they were scared of how it was going to go down. But Sleater-Kinney were just like, ‘No, it needs to be spoken about’. I think that’s really cool, and also, it just sounds brilliant."
1. Modern Girl (The Woods, 2005)
"Modern Girl’s actually my favourite song of all time. My friend put it on a mix CD for me when I was 16, and it’s what got me into Sleater-Kinney – I was just getting properly into punk rock at the time. I remember thinking ‘This is so cool’, how the guitars sounded like that. I remember finding out it’s two baritone guitars, rather than a normal guitar and bass, and just absolutely loved it. It was more an admiration thing than an inspiration thing – I was just in awe of the way they improvised. Towards the end there’s some really heavy gain, and that’s the best thing about that song – they wrote a really pretty sounding song, but they couldn’t leave it at that – they had to make it unlistenable almost. I really think that’s just great."
Muncie Girls' debut album From Caplan To Belsize is out now through Specialist Subject Records. The band tour the UK in November and December.