Corin Tucker Doesn’t Compromise

October 27th, 2010

Corin Tucker Band – The Bowery Ballroom – October 26, 2010

(Photo: John Clark)

(Photo: John Clark)

Lest you might have mistaken the words on The Bowery Ballroom’s marquee last night for some country-fried Southern act, the Corin Tucker Band is the new solo project from the ex-Sleater-Kinney frontwoman of the same name. It all started innocently enough with Tucker writing new material for various benefit shows in her hometown of Portland, which friends and eventually the influential Seattle record label Kill Rock Stars encouraged her to release. This collection of tracks grew into the album 1,000 Years, released just a few weeks ago.

The disc was recorded with Sara Lund, formerly of Unwound and currently in last night’s opening act, Hungry Ghost, and the Golden Bears’ Seth Lorinczi, each of whom joined her on tour. Lund adds deceptively simple percussion with uncommon instrumentation and rhythm. Tucker shared the stage throughout the show with members of the Golden Bears and Hungry Ghost, including a cellist and violinist for an entirely different take on “Riley.” She’s definitely expanding on her former sound with classical instrumentation and even picking up an acoustic guitar, but that sound is still rooted in heavy indie rock and her unmistakable wailing vibrato shriek, which inevitably creeps into every track.

For the encore, the band covered Pylon’s “Cool,” which must have been an early influence on Tucker, who faithfully made the song her own. But don’t be fooled by the press release: This isn’t the matured, mellow album from a stay-at-home mom abandoning her Riot Grrrl roots to compromise on anything—especially when it comes to the music. Has she changed? Of course. To her it probably feels like she was a pioneering, underground feminist punk 1,000 years ago. —Jason Dean