Ladyhawk – No Can Do (Triple Crown Audio)
It’s been four long years since these lads from B.C. released their sophomore album, Shots, back in 2008. I’m sure I speak for all Ladyhawk fans when I say today, October 9, 2012, is a most satisfying, glorious day. It hasn’t been easy being deprived of the infectious vocal styling of lead singer Duffy Driediger. Yes, Driediger released a solo album (Scriptural Supplies) in 2010 under the name Duffy and The Doubters, but totaling just over 19 minutes in 9 tracks it was more of a teaser.
Now with the release of No Can Do, we find Ladyhawk back from the dead and sounding sharper than ever. The album kicks off with two of the more slow-chugging rock songs reminiscent of “Corpse Paint” and “Fear” from Shots. However, a tighter more decisive sound is already clearly evident. From there, No Can Do unleashes 7 songs averaging just over 2 minutes in length each. They’re some of the hardest hitting rock songs I’ve heard; full of catchy hooks, melodic riffs that completely destroy, perfect fast-paced vocals, and then they’re over before you even know what hit you. We’ve seen glimpses of this power Ladyhawk holds before with, “S.T.H.D” and “You Ran” from Shots, but never have they been delivered with such precision and skill.
Ladyhawk doing what they do best
Ladyhawk sounds comfortable with where they are as a band and mindful of what they do best on No Can Do. It’s hard to find a moment of hesitation on this album partly to due to its brisk 27 minute running time. The closing track, “Eyes of Passion” seems to let off all the steam the previous tracks created, as it slowly descends into fuzzed out guitar engulfing Driediger’s howling chant.
It’s so refreshing to hear Ladyhawk sound as good as they do and after so long. This album surely has breathed new life into the band, who you can check out in Saskatoon at Amigo’s on October 19th. You can purchase and listen to the album via Triple Crown Audio Here.
Tame Impala – Lonerism (Modular)
In 2010 I was introduced to the textured psychedelia of Australian band Tame Impala with the release of their debut full length, Innerspeaker. Innerspeaker has an unescapably unique musical atmosphere that effectively throws me back into the dense world Tame Impala created each time I revisit the album. With the release of Lonerism, my only hope was that creative leader Kevin Parker would enhance this world he’s created and delve deeper into it’s thick sound.
Now, with multiple listens to the album I can confidently say Parker has satisfied the (high) expectations I had coming in. The most predominant evolution of the sound is the addition of heavy synthesizer’s, creating a more electronically spaced out feel. Where Innerspeaker stayed closer to conventional song structures, Lonerism stretches much further due to the neo-psych synth breakdowns fused into the tracks.
Kevin Parker in his home studio
On the first song, “Be Above It”, Parker strikes the listener with deep, pulsating synths while his echoed voice self assures, “And I know that I can’t let them bring me down.” It’s a great introduction to an album that explores Parker’s self-examination of the place in life he finds himself in. For me, what really stands out on the album is the dynamic between the lyrical mood and musical content. Parker describes these tracks as, “sugar pop that’s been sent to outer space and back.” It’s a fitting way of describing the songs because of how the pop aspects come in waves, effortlessly falling in and out making room for the more experimental transitions. So when you have Tame Impala “pop”, mixed with lyrics like, “I thought I was happy/ ahh why won’t they talk to me”, what’s left is themes of isolation and loneliness transforming into something more inspiring and enjoyable.
Lonerism effectively expands the world of sound Tame Impala started with Innerspeaker. The album works best hearing it as a whole due to the level of sonic complexity each track contains. On repeated listens I’m still hearing new depths the album ventures into that are almost impossible to hear the first few times around. Needless to say I strongly recommend sinking your teeth into Lonerism and the fascinating world of Tame Impala. Stream the complete album Here. If you like it, go buy it on iTunes or Amazon or wherever you purchase music.