Inspired by Bikini Kill and other riot grrrl bands, they began to write and play together. Tucker was already in Heavens to Betsy and Brownstein was in Excuse 17. Along with Lora McFarlane, they founded Sleater-Kinney. The name came from a freeway off-ramp in Olympia. Their self-titled album came out in 1995 on Chainsaw records.
As the ladies began to write and play together, their sound evolved into the definition of riot grrrl rock. The album impressed critics with its straight forward rock sound, absense of bass guitar, but full of female angst and emotion. In 1996, the trio put out their second album, Call the Doctor. McFarlane left the band after this album, and was permanently replaced by Janet Weiss of Quasi.
The first album released with Janet Weiss was Dig Me Out, released in 1997. This time, Sleater-Kinney released their record on Olympia’s Kill Rock Stars label, the home of many other indie and post-riot grrrl rock artists. With this release, the trio gained even more acclaim, critically and with fans. Then came The Hot Rock, released in 1999 also on KRS. With the successful Get Up, the band rose to the fore-front of riot grrrl and indie/punk infused rock in general.
Despite critics’ expectaions that Sleater-Kinney had reached their peaks as musicians, All Hands On The Bad One on KRS was released in 2000, and was received with much success. The single from the album was You’re No Rock And Roll Fun . A video was shot for the song and it got put into rotation on MTV2, which made them more popular than ever before.
After this album, the girls took some time off. They all worked on side projects. Janet continued to play with Quasi and Carrie with the Spells. During this time, Corin Tucker was busy having a baby, which inspired some of the lyrical content on their newest album, One Beat on KRS. This album is obviously their most complete and confident, intense and evolved. One Beat is their most critically acclaimed and incredible album to date.
As Sleater-Kinney continues to flirt with the line between mainstream and underground, they are gaining fans on both sides. This is a great band that can be appreciated by anyone with good taste and the desire to rock.