Friday, December 14, 2012

19. Ladyhawk - No Can Do (Triple Crown Audio)

After 2008's Shots, it wasn't a sure thing that Ladyhawk were going to release another album. The Vancouver four piece was destined for cult status, haunting bars as hometown heroes, forever playing local shows for the small but dedicated fanbase they'd amassed. This isn't necessarily negative. Ladyhawk were always about being underdogs. Just about any song in their catalog is so self-effacing, it feels like a miracle that singer Duffy Driediger was able to shepherd it onto an album without being consumed by doubt and trashing it. In Ladyhawk's world, getting it together enough to leave the house isn't easy. Driediger sings from inside a cocoon of weed smoke and Crazy Horse bootlegs, battling personal torment from a back porch littered with empties. It's a world he's resigned himself to as a way of making art, and the reason it doesn't come off as hollow self-pity is that he makes it all so relatable.

Where previous Ladyhawk albums sprawled with extended guitar solos and more-than-the-sum-of-their-parts sloppy chemistry, their third full length, No Can Do, skews closer to lean power pop than to rambling classic rock. Driediger's voice is still cavernous, like he's singing from directly inside a painful moment instead of about one, but the rest of the band tightened around him. Drummer Ryan Peters offers a steady backbone to Sean Hawryluk's dense bass and Darcy Hancock, who previously was a master of down-and-out guitar solos, now chugs along at the forefront, giving Driediger's lyrics nimble freedom. No Can Do might be a thematically dark album, but it's Ladyhawk's lightest yet.

via Pitchfork (read the rest there)

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