REVIEW : The Corin Tucker Band, 1000 Years. [Kill Rock Stars]
*Originally posted on thegirlsare.com
Riot grrrls everywhere wept like Alice when their Wonderland unravelled in 2006, as Sleater Kinney announced their indefinite hiatus. Queens of femme politics and one of the essential rock groups of the 90s, their barbed tongues and banshee wails [not to mention, numerous famed albums] were bottled up and marked ‘Play Me’ for future generations. Many trawled through Google searches and blogs to locate the respective women’s other projects; Janet Weiss released albums with Quasi and Stephen Malkmus’ Jicks, while guitarist Carrie Brownstein now hosts her own music blog for NPR; the States principal public radio service.
So, what became of Corin Tucker? The vehement vixen of the group has remained oddly quiet since the bands announcement some four years ago. However, after time home-making with her family in Portland, Oregon, SK fans will be pleased to find Tucker putting down the family scrapbooks and embarking on making her own memories with this new record. Those expecting to be thrust back into the bewildering and huge sounds of The Woods will have to look elsewhere however [perhaps, Janet and Carrie's new super-group, Wild Flag] as this album is a slow burner and more about sentiment and a wholesome honesty than high kicks and rock riffs.
Dragon [a track originally aimed for The Twilight Saga's, New Moon], is sombre and anguished, the delicate finger-picked guitar melodies sprinkled throughout Tucker’s haunting vocal and, like a New Moon itself, almost celestial. Riley and Half a World Away, hint back at the era of One Beat, the latter in particular, with its kinetic and sporadic percussion as Tucker runs drills with her spiralling vocals and militant guitar thrashes. But, it is in the track Doubt where her famous caterwaul is finally unleashed; and my, how we’ve missed it.
Such a juxtaposition between the timid and soft whisper to the distinctive [and sorely missed] wail is really what makes this album so compelling. It’s almost like Tucker wants us to realise that she is more than just a one trick Portland pony with a killer chorus. She has made a home for herself but she has made some changes too.
“That’s the artistic, itchy personality”, Tucker says. “You’re constantly trying to do something different”.
Different she did: this album is a heady mix of sentiment and fragility alongside vigour and passion but all housed in the same formidable femme. The Corin Tucker Band may not be the trip back to The Woods we were expecting but this journey is well worth embarking on too.
Now, that’s certainly one for the scrapbook.