The band, which has Sleater-Kinney roots, has produced an album capturing the passion of the riot grrrl era.
Wild Flag was unveiled in a pall of mystery in the fall of 2010. Little was known other than the fact that the band was anchored by two-thirds of the rock offensive that was Sleater-Kinney, an Olympia, Wash.-bred group that hailed from the thriving '90s indie scene of the Pacific Northwest. The all-female group split in 2006, but not before defining the riot grrrl movement and providing an alternative to the male-dominated grunge scene.
Wild Flag's birth was announced sans music, and with a short news release that compared the group to the sound of an avalanche pummeling a dolphin. The ambiguity, however, wasn't for long. Their self-titled album, released in September, is loud, assertive and lean. Its 10 tracks capture the unrestrained passion of the riot grrrl era, but do so with a mix of grown-up levity and confidence.
“We needed a no-frills, direct, energetic feel,” said Janet Weiss, the rhythmic stronghold in Sleater-Kinney and now Wild Flag. Her band begins a two-night stay at the Troubadour on Wednesday. “We needed a record that jumped off the vinyl and jumped off your speakers. It's very clear what's happening. You can hear everyone playing, and there's not much that's buried. This is bold.”
In the track “Racehorse,” vocalist-guitarist Carrie Brownstein — Weiss' Sleater-Kinney partner, star of IFC's “Portlandia” and ex-National Public Radio blogger — snarls, “What you don't know is me.” The sludgy, adrenaline-building groovy punk stomper clocks in at nearly seven minutes. Throughout, Rebecca Cole's vintage organ serves as a bass, and guitar wrecker Mary Timony delivers garage-rock psychedelics.