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Out Of The 'Woods'

Sleater"I definitely think we wanted to do something that was challenging and creative and kind of took our musicianship up a notch, where we were doing things that weren't straightforward and weren't really easy for us," says Sleater-Kinney vocalist/guitarist Corin Tucker of "The Woods," the acclaimed indie rock trio's debut for Sub Pop.

Much like Fugazi's last two albums, "The Fox" finds Sleater-Kinney effectively broadening its sound without negatively affecting the unique dynamic between Tucker, guitarist/vocalist Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss. The album opens with the sludgy, overdriven "The Fox," before offering up Hendrix-worthy guitar licks on "Wilderness," chilly, harmony-tinged verse/emphatic chorus juxtapositions on "Jumpers" and a straight-up, sunny ballad (albeit with new producer Dave Fridmann's arsenal of studio tricks) on "Modern Girl."

The group drew inspiration from a 2003 stint opening for Pearl Jam, sets that would alternate between playing in front of an empty arena or 10,000 fans who made it to their seats early.

"We would start with a song and do improv into [the title track from 1997's] 'Dig Me Out' and it was really fun and exciting and weird and awkward and bizarre. And we'd do it in front of 10,000 people who weren't there to see us and it was uncomfortable and cool and it was something that I think caught our interest in what we could play together."