Corin Tucker won the hearts of the riot grrls in raw and gutsy band Heavens To Betsy and (later) in Sleater-Kinney. Confirmed fan Jess McCabe throws critical caution to the wind as she listens to Corin’s new album Kill My Blues
For women of my generation and background, a new album from the Corin Tucker Band can’t be approached with a calm or measured appraisal of its musical significance alone.
Corin Tucker was the guitarist and singer in riot grrl band Heavens to Betsy, before moving on to to what for me was one of the key feminist punk bands, Sleater-Kinney. I have all their albums. I have photos of myself at their gigs, literally grinning from ear to ear. Their tracks still, on occasion, find their way onto my iPhone, even six years since they officially went on hiatus.
I saw Sleater-Kinney live before I’d really heard their records. It was Tucker’s gigantic voice that sucked me in that night, and spat me out a confirmed fan girl. (She was co-vocalist with Carrie Brownstein, as well as playing guitar and drums.)
Just so you know I’m not alone in this, there are multiple Tumblr tags dedicated to this voice, such as Corin Tucker’s voice is heaven, and Corin Tucker’s banshee voice of sex. You can also get a sense of it in this video of Sleater Kinney and Pearl Jam covering ‘Hunger Strike’ in Mexico in 2003
Let’s face it, I was always going to devour the products of her next enterprise, the Corin Tucker Band. The debut, 1,000 years, was brilliant – even if it was a more subdued and mature tone. It was generally seen as her grown up album, reflecting her graduation from riot grrl to riot mom.
Her newest album, however, is in some ways a return to form. Where 1,000 years was largely non-political, Kill My Blues includes a number of righteous feminist songs. Where her debut was calm and a bit melancholy, much of the second album will have you bopping your head if not dancing around the room.
Video commentary: This is the video to The Corin Tucker Band’s ‘Neskowin’. The video is constructed along the lines of a teenage Hollywood film, and is a clever homage to and satire of such cultural references as Mad Men, That Seventies Show, The Runaways and punk/’50s generation clashes. The video begins with a sullen teenage girl feigning sickness to get out of a car journey with her parents and younger sister. She then invites her friends round, they dance, play records, try on clothes and put on makeup. They then hitch into a town or city and run amok at a bar and attend a punk gig. At the end of the video we see the girl asleep in bed, being checked on by her mother. Both the singer in the X-Ray Spex style punk band and the mother are played by Corin Tucker