Comments: You know, sometimes I feel like a pretentious asshole.
Who am I to spend all my time scaning these albums with a fine tooth comb and passing judgment on their worth using some ever changing and undefinable scale that measures and quantifies that which is, by definition, incalculabel? Is it possible for me to just listen to a record and enjoy it without having to look for the deeper meaning, hidden symbolism, or ulterior motive? Isn't there something I can just listen to and not have to think about?
The answers to these questions are "No one", "Yes", and Ladyhawk's self titled album.
Don't misunderstand me. When I say that Ladyhawk is easy to listen to, I do not mean that it is shallow or brainless. I simply mean that Ladyhawk is an album that makes no promises, offers no archaic message, and requires no effort to listen to. Ladyhawk is a good rock record, and nothing more.
The Vancouver based four piece specialize in big guitar driven bar room rock songs and lyrical metaphors, and both can be found all over the record. Tracks like "The Dugout", "My Old Jackknife", and especially "Came in Brave" are reminiscent of big guitars bands like Dinosaur Jr. or Neil Young & Crazy Horse. The record maintains a classic feel throughout; it plays like a bunch of guys who like to get together in someones garage, drink a few too many, and cover all their favorite rock songs from the 70s. Which is not to say that the production is bad, it just sounds like these guys are relaxed and having a blast.
The subject matter of the songs is the usual rock fare; women, booze, and women who drink booze. At times the band can sound alt-country, at times indie pop, but always good. Ladyhawk is a seasoned bunch of musicians, and the rhythm section always anchors the music, which gives the guitarist room to play, and gives the lead singer room to let his voice go for a walk. Some songs are a bit overblown, like the jammy slow burning roots rock of "Long 'Till the Morning". But for the most part, the album is strong.
Ladyhawk is not reinventing the wheel on their self titled debut. They aren't going to be your new favorite band, and you aren't going to tell all your friends about them. They won't be selling out stadiums, and we won't see them on MTV. Not to say that they couldn't get to that level; Ladyhawk shows great promise, and leaves the band with a lot of room to expand. But for right now, Ladyhawk is a collection of barroom swagger that flirts with intimacy, dances with brilliance, and above all else is just an easy and fun listen.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Key Tracks: The Dugout, My Old Jackknife, Came in Brave, Advice
Worth The Money: Might not stick with you forever, but still worth it.