If you spent the Nineties hanging out with punk-rock women – an unbeatable way to spend any decade – you get why fans rave about Wild Flag. They’re an all-star team: Sleater-Kinney’s guitarist Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss, plus Helium guitarist Mary Timony and the Minders’ keyboardist Rebecca Cole. Yet they top anyone’s wildest hopes. All over their debut album, Wild Flag move with a bravado that makes other bands sound like sniffly rookies. And if guitars are your thing, this will punch your about fucking time buttons. Timony and Brownstein take off in the mod frenzy of “Romance” and the Camaro-metal thud of “Black Tiles,” and they’re not shy about looting every corner of the rock & roll junkyard, from classic Sixties bands (loads of early Stones licks) to obscure indie-rock slop. (Is that a Salem 66 riff on “Electric Band”? Jesus.) There are no wasted moments here – these are lifers who know exactly what they’re doing. In “Romance,” they chant the chorus together: “We love the sound/The sound is what found us/Sound is the blood between me and you.” It’s a moment that feels like an emotional explosion – and it sums up everything great about Wild Flag.
• Video: Wild Flag’s ‘Romance’