Y'all Kids Should Have More Respect for Yer Elders Award
By David M. Goldstein | 18 December 2012
Corin Tucker Band: Kill My Blues
Corin Tucker was one third of indie rock fire-breathers Sleater-Kinney, on hiatus since 2006 but responsible for some of the greatest rock and roll albums of the past fifteen years. Carrie Brownstein may have supplied the snaky lead-riffs and ended up with the hipster-skewering TV show, and Janet Weiss had the slamming backbeat with the consistency of a cyborg. But it was Tucker’s earth-shattering wail that most defined the band’s sound: a love it/hate it instrument capable of both demolishing city blocks and caving in skulls. She also wrote the lion’s share of the lyrics and played a bottom-heavy rhythm guitar, rendering a bass-player most superfluous.
I recently took in a Corin Tucker Band show at New York City’s Mercury Lounge, a 300 capacity room that generally splits the difference between no-name local acts and indie up and comers not quite ready for the 500 cap. Bowery Ballroom a few blocks south, as well as more established names looking to do last minute “secret” gigs. The Corin Tucker concert was at 8 pm on a Thursday, an uncharacteristically early show that would afford fans the ability to both rock the fuck out and be in bed by 10:30 (I wish there were more of these). It was also half full. You mean to tell me that New York City can only fetch 150 people to hear the Tucker banshee howl at 8 pm on a Thursday?
Now granted, the Corin Tucker Band is not Sleater-Kinney. It adheres to a more traditional rock quartet setup, and lead guitarist/organist Seth Lorinczi’s riffs aren’t as lavish as those of Carrie Brownstein (though Sara Lund [ex-Unwound] is probably the greatest female drummer not named Janet Weiss). Furthermore, Tucker’s 2010 solo debut, 1,000 Years, was a touch too sedate for its own good, opting for singer-songwriter cliches that neglected to play to her strengths, and costing her some momentum as a result.
Fortunately Kill My Blues corrects many of her debut’s flaws, consisting almost entirely of driving rock and roll songs that Tucker doesn’t so much belt out as shriek into a canyon. The result is a cathartic sound that will do fine as one half of a methadone fix (the other being Brownstein’s Wild Flag) until the real thing inevitably rolls around again. Sleater-Kinney fans that were uninterested with 1,000 Years will unquestionably find something to latch onto here, with “Neskowin” and “Groundhog Day” comprising two of the greatest slam pogoing songs of 2012.
But judging from the utter lack of Corin Tucker mentions on year-end dealies such as this one, and her inability to draw a crowd in New York F’in City at 8 pm, none of you kids care. Ain’t no respect for the mega-lunged frontwoman of arguably the greatest rock band since Led Zeppelin (and yes, this is something I will argue). Shame on y’all.