Let’s take a quick stroll through the debut release from Lancaster PA’s Tucker I’m Scared entitled Flower (released in late 2019). It’s the self-described emo adjacent solo project of Taylor Zeager, who later added three band members while never truly letting go of that bedroom recording, DIY sensibility and I dig that. It can be easy to fall into the trope of forming a full band and completely overdoing it, reaching too far and getting lost, but Tucker, I’m Scared do none of that.
The opening track is appropriately titled “The Opening Track.” It’s a nice, easy start that gives you a sense of what you’re in for; a little dissonant noise, guitar feedback and distortion and muffled lo-fi vocals that flirt with emo sensibilities. We’re not talking about the early 2000’s emo explosion though, we must venture further back to the 80’s for some straight up Robert Smith and The Cure shit. Look no further than the second track (no it’s not called the second track) “A Dead Situation.”I adore this track, with its earworm chorus and simplistic song structure that crescendos into a mass of distorted fuzz. Can a two and a half minute song even crescendo? Well, it just happened. None of Tucker, I’m Scared’s seven tracks exceed three and a half minutes and by golly they don’t have to, this band says a lot in such short bursts.
“Morning” almost goes full on punk rock but pulls it back in the vein of Modern Baseball or Guided By Voices. Just when you think they’re gonna unleash it, they drop into some fuzzy guitar lick and staggered drums. It gives you the impression that the band is just too lazy to fully rock out and I mean that in the most endearing way.
These traits can be endearing on a fifteen minute record but I question if the band can hold up their charm on a longer and more ambitious record. Guided By Voices have been doing it with great success for like 30 fucking years so it’s not impossible. That said, this is an incredibly promising project that may just need a little hashing out. A couple of small tours, some good old fashion band bonding and they’ll surely make some waves.
Written by Lee Ferguson
*Edited by Dominic Abate