The Corin Tucker Band The Corin Tucker Band1.000 Years
In 2006, Corin Tucker disappeared from the stage and recording studios in order to dedicate herself to doing what only artists like Courtney Love should do exclusively: attend to her family. And that’s a good one, because Lance Bangs (see here the video that he made for The Thermals) is a prolific music video director, and he also has two children and PTA meetings, and other household obligations to attend to, so you can imagine that an old riot grrrl could combine homemade recipes with the desire to get up in a club and jump over the drummer while scratching at her guitar in a very non-maternal way. In the case of Courtney Love, honestly, few people would miss her (especially after having destroyed the originals of “Nobody’s Daughter,” under the shelter of Hole, in 2010, and having mutated them into dandruff-covered pastiche rock, moving into the pure “undesired and failed comebacks” category, like “Chinese Democracy”), but with Tucker, the truth is, yours truly was really curious to see where she had got to and what she was going to do. And under the generic name The Corin Tucker Band, she has brought us “1,000 Years” as if excusing herself for her long absence, and with a newspaper under her arm in which, according to the headlines, the other band members of Sleater-Kinney are going to cross a hamburger with a hotdog, and from the mixture will come Wild Flag. So all of the girls with scratchy throats have positioned themselves to the public’s pleasure, and with a little luck, we are going to see a real artistic battle within the punk context that made them rebellious in their youth.
Ah, but careful, now it turns out that Corin Tucker, our star, has pulled a fast one on us (or to say it better, she has left us hanging and with a musty aftertaste in our mouths), because listening to “1,000 Years” we realise that this isn’t a return to her grumbling past, but rather the logical consequence of the friction between family and artistic life. Because we find suggestive songs like the dense “Big Goodbye”, the garage rock of “Doubt” or solitary guitars like puddles in the night (in “Handed Love”), and even an imitation of before, in the very Sleater-Kinney “Riley”, but in general one notices that Tucker wants to express new concerns (some of them existential) that are fairly distant from what she supposedly was some years ago. The most evident, for example, is “Half a World Away”, a song about being separated from Bangs and her children while she is on tour (an ex-riot grrrl feeling guilty?), timid experimentation with percussion in “It’s Always Summer” (which reminds one of Nina Nastasia’s “You Follow Me” phase), or with orchestral sound, in “Dragon” (with pizzicatos, but without enough brazenness not to evoke something more than Northern folk rock), and a trio of songs that exemplify this “I want to, but I don’t dare to”, where Tucker struggles with a progression towards a more intimate sound, but ends up being beaten in the last round by the traditional sounds of harsh guitars that mask her cowardice. “Pulling Pieces” starts out softly and ends harshly, staying in a mid-90’s kind of sound that reminds one of outdated productions; “Thrift Store Coats” starts with a piano and a normal voice that give way to a semi-punk aesthetic, giving the feeling that she wants to please fans of Sleater-Kinney or Heavens To Betsy, while surely disappointing both. She only saves herself with the honest, exemplary effort of “Miles Away”, the only song in which she dares to make a 180-degree turn and where she perhaps shows, now that we see her clearly alone as a composer (without production or noise in the way to throw us off) that she still has a long way to go both to perform songs with feeling, and to pretend that she likes singing them. Feeling nostalgic? Listen to the title song, “1,000 Years” . The remains of dirt you can pick up there is the closest thing to punk you’ll be able to detect.
The Corin Tucker Band - Doubt