Corin Tucker Band - Kill My Blues

There’s a certain urgency lacking to ‘Kill My Blues’ - Tucker seems determined to tap in to a certain rage and angst, yet still manages to sound rote and homogeneous.

Label: Kill Rock Stars

Rating: 6

Corin Tucker’s role as a beacon of feminist indie-rock cool will always be secure. Sleater-Kinney’s back catalogue still sounds fearsome and vital, not simply due to Tucker’s notoriously quavering scream, but the trio’s bass-less howling call to arms. After an extended hiatus, Tucker returned in 2010 with ‘1,000 Years’, a more muted response to her former histrionics, embracing world music dalliances and casual introspection. ‘Kill My Blues’, as the title suggests, dispenses with the inward gaze and is a full on, cathartic beast of a rock album.

That’s not to suggest it’s in the league of ‘The Hot Rock’ or ‘Call The Doctor’; it’s impossible not to compare ‘Kill My Blues’ with Sleater-Kinney’s meisterwerks, but Tucker’s (re)embracing of the punk aesthetic on this album veers closer to the stadium end of 21st Century punk rather than a grubby dive bar. This works best on ‘Groundhog Day’, the guitars fleshed out by xylophone, multi-tracking and handclaps. But the fun that pervades that song serves to grate elsewhere: ‘I Don’t Wanna Go’ lives up to its promise by outstaying its welcome, a shrill anthem which sidelines melody and texture in favour of directionless shouting.

There’s a certain urgency lacking to ‘Kill My Blues’ - Tucker seems determined to tap in to a certain rage and angst, yet still manages to sound rote and homogeneous. Instead of killing her blues, perhaps Corin Tucker needs to embrace them.