Between 1995 and 2005, Pacific Northwest trio Sleater-Kinney enjoyed an ascendant run of seven albums — all animated by tenacious performance, ensemble ingenuity, and politics both incisively critical and anxiously reflective of their time. In the period between the group’s breakup, in 2006, and the comeback release of last year’s excellent No Cities to Love
— a popular and critical consensus formed around the group’s peerless navigation of a decade in which indie-rock repeatedly reorganized. (Everyone stayed busy in the meantime: Carrie Brownstein co-created Portlandia
and, along with Janet Weiss, formed Wild Flag, while Corin Tucker founded an eponymous group.) But No Cities to Love
is much more than a reason to reassess the past; it’s a riot and a triumph, either invigorated by the group’s during dormancy or as if Sleater-Kinney never paused to begin with. Bid adieu to 2016 with The Thermals and Sleater-Kinney at the Masonic (1111 California Street, San Francisco) on New Year’s Eve.