FRIDAY, APRIL 04, 2008 |
Poor Ladyhawk, with the sudden rise of label mates Black Mountain, the comparisons will be sprinkled all over every review you read. What shouldn’t be lost is the soul, sweat, and booze that had to be consumed to create their new aptly titled album, Shots (Jagjaguwar). Hints of the bands' previous efforts are notable throughout, but so is the volume and screaming guitars that may be new for some fans.
The record kicks off with the track, “I Don’t Always Know What I’m Saying.” It starts off with slices of New Order guitar’s and haunting vocals while in route to turning into a full- fledged rocker. Just as you’re about to stick a genre label on the band, they throw you a 58-foot curve ball with the manic “S.T.H.D.” The song’s thick rhythm section is the perfect foundation for the feedback soaked guitars and panic attack style vocals. The impressive nature in which the songs are crafted should not go unnoticed here, as the band is as tight musically as ever. Each instrument is as important as the next with no one holding rank. The bands' intensity is a clear impact of playing off of each other, and that is what makes this album work so well. Two perfect examples of this are “Fear,” which has the pleading lyrics “I want to taste something other than tears/ I don’t want to go home but I cant stay here,” over a rolling Richard Hell influenced bass line. The second is “Ghost Blues,” a ten minute plus explosion of sound combining the space-rock of Black Sabbath’s Vol.4 with the road hangover of Neil Young’s Tonight’s The Night. Ladyhawk have made a reputation for themselves as one of the great live bands of the day, which does not always translate well on record. It’s easy for bands to lose intensity and passion while in the studio as apposed to performing live, it’s just not an option for Ladyhawk. - Tom Duffy