50 Best Albums of 2011

9

Wild Flag, 'Wild Flag'

The indie-rock guitar record of the year is by Nineties survivors who were bulldozing basement shows back when today's new bands were still in their Thomas the Tank Engine phase. Wild Flag's debut is a beautifully bare-knuckled set of 21st-century post-punk by Sleater-Kinney's Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss, Helium singer-guitarist Mary Timony and the Minders' Rebecca Cole. The guitars spark, snarl and tangle, while the girl-group la-la-la's cushion tougher sentiments. "Listen to the music, before it passes you by," instructs Timony. No chance of that happening to these guys – they're just revving up.

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