A Riot Grrrl figurehead returns with a "middle-aged mom record."
Tue Oct 19 2010
; Tue 26
With Sleater-Kinney, Corin Tucker brought the passions of '90s feminist-punk movement riot grrrl to a mainstream audience, applying her thrilling wail to the struggle for authenticity and ideals both within and beyond the bounds of indie culture. "The number-one must-have," she declared on 2000's All Hands on the Bad One, "is that we are safe."
1,000 Years, recorded with Sara Lund (of Unwound and Hungry Ghost) and Seth Lorinczi (from Circus Lupus and Golden Bears) as the Corin Tucker Band, is Tucker's first release since S-K went on hiatus in 2006 and Tucker turned her energies toward building a family with husband Lance Bangs. Tucker has quipped that this a "middle-aged mom record"—it's certainly more substantial than that implies. Yet with less overt politics and a more low-key sound, it's also no Sleater-Kinney rehash.
Tucker's lyrics address the passing of time and the challenges of marriage; in "Thrift Store Coats," she casts a heart-rending look at the recession's effects on Portland, Oregon. The album's arrangements, which include keyboards, acoustic guitar and strings, have a lush, unpolished loveliness. But throughout the recording, there's a sense that Tucker has her voice on an unduly short leash ("Doubt" and "Riley" are exceptions), and 1,000 Years can feel repetitive. Nonetheless, these songs, some of them conceived as potential contributions to Twilight, are a window into the evolution of a vital artist. The record may not match up to past work, but it's evidence that Tucker remains a truthful, intriguing force.