By The Seattle Times

SEATTLE — Expectations can be an artist’s enemy. For a veteran band as potent as Sleater-Kinney, they’re high by default.

Anticipation for “The Center Won’t Hold,” the Northwest punk greats’ second studio effort since returning from a nearly 10-year hiatus in 2014, surged earlier this year when the band revealed the new record was being produced by Annie Clark, better known as art-rock auteur St. Vincent.

Arriving in August, the record pushed Sleater-Kinney into new territory. Heavily armed with synthesizers, the band tactfully deploys pop-leaning melodies and danceable grooves amid its rock ’n’ roll offensive.

Sleater-Kinney with Kaina will perform at 8 p.m. Nov. 23-24 in the Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle. Admission ranges from $33.50-$38.50 (see stgpresents.org).

It’s as restless and fearless as the band has ever sounded, and, while largely met with favorable reviews, the album has spurred mixed reactions from fans, some put off by the shift in sound. “If you’re so worried about what people think, you’re gonna have really boring records,” said singer/guitarist Corin Tucker. “I think part of being an artist is taking risks and giving voice to different things.”