Though it wasn't actually 1,000 Years between Sleater-Kinney's last album before they went on hiatus, The Woods, and the Corin Tucker Band's debut, it felt a lot longer than just five. The Woods reaffirmed Sleater-Kinney as one of indie rock's premier bands -- female-driven or otherwise -- and Janet Weiss and Carrie Brownstein remained prominent afterwards, working on other projects ranging from new bands to journalism. Tucker, however, largely disappeared from the public eye until a Portland, OR benefit show spurred her to perform some of the songs she had written while she cared for her family. One thing led to another and, joined by Hungry Ghost's Sara Lund and the Golden Bears' Seth Lorinczi and Julianna Bright, Tucker makes 1,000 Years a fiery, yet mature, return. Fittingly, the title track sounds like she's waking from a deep sleep, with backing vocals that fade in as she sings "I get closer with each note." Tucker has never sounded womanlier, and while the angles that defined her earlier work are still here, they're softened slightly, both in her words and music. She's yearning on "It's Always Summer" and nervy on "Half a World Away," and paints a compassionate picture of a family in need on "Thrift Store Coats." Tucker also takes the opportunity to experiment with different sounds, from "Handed Love"'s smoky electric pianos to "Dragon"'s acoustic strumming. Still, many of 1,000 Years' most satisfying moments come when she cranks the amps, especially on "Doubt" and "Riley," both of which show that Tucker's guitar chops haven't deserted her any more than her songwriting skills have. A study in how to be settled without settling, this album is a very welcome return.