Album Review: The Corin Tucker Band – 1,000 Years

by Christopher Rogers on October 11, 2010

The Corin Tucker Band – 1,000 Years.

Corin Tucker was one-third of one of the greatest bands the world has ever known.

In Sleater-Kinney, she made powerful, personal music strong enough to restore a person’s conviction in themselves or rock-and-roll or both. Her voice arced through speakers and rock clubs like the weapon in a video game that could cut through all the enemies in one stupendous blast and keep going to and through the edge of the screen.

Then, in 2006 Sleater-Kinney went on hiatus.

Now what?

Tucker focused on raising her family and building her home. And in a natural way, 1,000 Years grew from that.

The musical range of The Corin Tucker Band is markedly different from Sleater-Kinney. The ambition is no less high, with lyrics marked by obsessions of distance, craving, and interpersonal expectation, yet Tucker casts a different range of tonal energy on her solo debut. Where before she was one leg of a stool along with the raw precision of Carrie Brownstein and the whirling storm of Janet Weiss, Tucker’s songs call in pianos, country guitar, echoey percussion, and yes – big rock riffs.

The difference here is the scope of the scene she sets. Where mid-era S-K albums could feel like they tackled you through your headphones with their vigor to reach you as a person, The Corin Tucker Band expects that you’re there and you’re listening. There’s no need to grab the listener’s lapels, there is a comfort level.

Indeed, the listener has to wait five songs until “Doubt” for Tucker to shift her voice into her signature top gear. Her voice breaks into the song like like light through rainclouds. Even then she embodies her comfort in throttling up and throttling down her singing – showing an ease in her mastery of the song at any speed. And suddenly, violins join in.

Corin Tucker, Seth Lorinczi, and Sara Lund.

“Half A World Away” bears the imprints of Tucker’s favored dual note chimes seen in the final S-K albums before breaking into a strident Mission Of Burma-like march, riddled with echo-y percussion touches and an almost dub-like bass path. Big guitar lines lean in slow like giraffes munching on treetops.

From the study in contrast and possibility in “Handed Love” with its big Beatles crash-and-rock bridge and “Go on then girl, the world awaits,” to the shout of dismay that is “Thrift Store Coats,” it feels like Tucker is charting out the lyrical territory of what comes after one becomes an “adult.” The songs’ narrators may stumble or strive, but there is a keen sense of working to find or make a place. And through it all is Tucker’s voice – calm and riding the music like a veteran surfer on a wave.

Sleater-Kinney may return one day, but until then, Corin Tucker is comfortable at home.

Christopher Rogers

Christopher Rogers is a journalist / developer / enthusiast from and about the San Francisco Bay Area. His favorite secret about the SF Bay Area is that -- --- --- ---- ---- ---- - -- ------ ----, --- - ---'- ------ ------, -- ------ --- -------.

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