Ladyhawk | Shots (Jagjaguwar)

cd_ladyhawk.jpgUpon first listen, I couldn’t help wondering if Ladyhawk had spent too much time listening to Jason Molina.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After first hearing about Ladyhawk some time ago, I was excited to hear the new release. Their first LP was released in 2006 and caught my attention with its bitter lyrics and to-the-point criticism of relationships and the vulgarity therein. The new record, while not as loud, continues on the same note.

Upon first listen, I couldn’t help wondering if Ladyhawk had spent too much time listening to Jason Molina and, when infused with their Spencer Krug Canadian style, that something completely different had emerged. While the subject matter was still quite similar, the new had was much more of a downer sound. It’s like when you come home after a long night of drinking and you start to think about your night. You struggle to stay awake but the occasional burst of energy keeps you up, dreading the next morning.

Although I would say this was a solid album from the start, there were some definite highlights. One such highlight was the track "Faces of Death," with its repeated line, "There’s no such thing as endless love/ only a joke told in very poor taste that somehow keeps cracking me up." This very pessimistic view is represented on most of the album, even when tide seems to turn to a positive memory.

The format seems to be high energy followed by a slow reminder of how distressing everything can become in this modern world. The album starts off with one of its strongest efforts, "I Don’t Always Know What You Are Saying." The song begins with very Canadian keys mixed into guitars, with just the right amount of pop. The band uses this general sound quite often, but with a unique twist that sets them apart. Not only have they mastered the modern sound, but seem to know a bit about the rock of the past few decades.

Overall, the general sound has matured and become much more solid. It seems like Ladyhawk finally found their sound and mastered it, with songs that bring out the energy of Wolf Parade to the songs that seem to nod to Jason Molina in times of reflection. B | Alex Hodschayan

RIYL: Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Songs: Ohia

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