A feisty, committed album, and it’s a shame it took me so long to get round to reviewing it, it has some belting moments, and boasts a great strong backbone of good songs and powerful delivery.
I think the main reason I left it so long, (namely, my usual Christmas/New Year check through piles of unlistened-to stuff) is the insipid cover, which has a simple drawing of Ms T, winsomely posing with an acoustic guitar. I thought Corin Tucker had gone all limp and folksy: (and there are moments such as the thoughtful and reserved arrangements on Dragon where you can hear a more reserved approach), but like elsewhere on this LP, Tucker’s voice sails over the song and banishes any notions of gaucheness. Reflective tracks elsewhere on the album show a similar amount of steel and spark, whether by clever turns of chord and phrasing (such as 1,000 Years) or by virtue of a sudden explosion of energy, like in Pulling Pieces. The only true ‘slowie’ is last track Miles Away.
There are moments like Riley and Thrift Store Coats which tug at memories; the vocals on both tracks are very reminiscent of the chanteuse style Patti Smith uses on some of the more cerebral bits of Horses. The best track for my money on this rewarding LP comes near the end with Big Goodbye, which is a swirling and occasionally scything work out full of twists and turns, all the time led by Tucker’s clever delivery.