October 3, 2010 Leave a comment
Five years after Sleater Kinney’s final opus, The Woods, propelled them into the indie mainstream, founding front woman, Corin Tucker is stepping back into the spotlight with her stellar debut, 1000 Years.
The years have rolled by since Sleater Kinney declared indefinite hiatus, stagnating Tucker’s singing career, shifting her focus towards raising children. Yet, a solo effort seemed inevitable, and also a bit inconceivable, as the singer’s banshee shrills were barely contained when supported by the power of the Sleater Kinney collective.
However, Tucker brings a surprisingly subdued vocal presence to 1000 Years which has aged like a fine Oregon pinot. Furthermore, her songwriting is stronger than ever and finally seems to have complete control over her vocal siren sounding off with improved range and delivery.
During the initial press push, Tucker attempted to satisfy people’s inquiry and expectation relating her work to Sinead O’Connor’s The Lion And The Cobra – a reference that is blatantly spot-on during the first ping of reverberated percussion of “Half A World Away” when compared to O’Connor’s “I Want Your Hands On Me”.
Die hard Sleater Kinney fans will find nostalgia in the record’s first single, “Doubt”, which is a sexed up, garage-rockin’ anthem featuring Tucker’s signature upper-range wail. Conversely, Sleater Kinney fanatics may initially scoff at calmer acoustic numbers, “Dragon” and “It’s Always Summer”, reducing them to watered down folk, but upon second listen Tucker’s improved technique arranging a miniature orchestra shines through.
All references aside (she also cites The Raincoats as a major influence which explains some of the subtle off kilter weirdness throughout the album), Tucker and maintains a solid amount of originality and innovation. Sara Lund of Unwound and Seth Lorinczi of the Golden Bears are the back bone of the band, adding orchestral drum beats and a variety of extra instrumentation, icing on the cake. “Pulling Pieces” begins as a ballad before it morphs into one of the most epic jams the album has to offer. Meanwhile, “Handed Love” has a cool jazz feel meshed with the best of late 90′s alternative pop. It’s catchy sing-a-long chorus is perfect for blasting it through the window as you drive through a city of roses.
The album finds a home at Kill Rock Stars – whom helped nurture Sleater Kinney’s career before they were snatched up by Sub Pop – and is an excellent addition to the noteworthy label’s catalog.
It will be a long time before Corin Tucker isn’t referred to as “the girl from Sleater Kinney”. Still, 1,000 Years is an astounding first step in establishing a new identity aside from the profound legacy she has already nurtured.
Corin Tucker and her band will be going on tour to support the record out October 5th on Kill Rock Stars.