Change can be hard, which might explain why every album the Ramones ever made sounded like every other Ramones album.
History is littered with acts—from Bad Religion to the Foo Fighters to the Strokes to Franz Ferdinand—that have shown either a complete unwillingness or an unfortunate inability to evolve on a meaningful level. For every Blur there are a hundred Oasises.
It came as something as a shock, then, that riot-grrrl pioneers Sleater-Kinney completely flipped the script with “Hurry on Home”, the first single from the band's upcoming full-length, The Center Won’t Hold. For the better part of a quarter century, fans of the trio have come to expect songs built around the raw-wound guitars and feral vocal interplay of frontwomen Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein. Overseen by producer Annie Clark of St. Vincent fame, "Hurry on Home" marked something of a reinvention for Sleater-Kinney, vocals layered to heavenly effect and death-disco synths making for the band's most danceable effort, well, ever.
There's unfortunately a case to be made that not everyone in the Pacific Northwest group was on the same page during the recording sessions.
Janet Weiss, who's been behind the kit with Sleater-Kinney since 1996, has announced that she, with "heavy sadness", has decided to leave the band.
Taking to Twitter, she attributed her departure to the fact that the group is headed in a new direction, and that makes it time for her to move on.
What makes her timing odd is that the group has been ramping up the promotional cycle for The Center Won't Hold, the second full-length after Sleater-Kinney disbanded from 2006 to 2014. Then again, Weiss is hardly the first artist to leave a band over artistic differences, if, in fact, that's what's prompting her reaching for the ejector seat here.
Just as the drummer has been gracious about leaving the group, Tucker and Brownstein have taken to social media to make their appreciation for Weiss known.
While noting that they are saddened by her decision, they stated that working with their former bandmate was "an incredible privilege", and that they "wish Janet all the best as she starts a new chapter in her life”.
The Center Won’t Hold is scheduled to hit finer brick-and-mortar record shops on August 16.
Here's Sleater-Kinney back when Weiss was, presumably, happier with the group's direction.