Chimpomatic

Ladyhawk

Shots

Jagjaguwar

I've yet to hear 'the first great album of the year' or 'the second' for that matter, so it's with a clear conscience and complete disregard for continuity that I give the first great album of the year title to Vancouver's Ladyhawk and their great album - Shots.

OK, so it's nearly April and I'm not listening to as much new music as I used to. Partly because of various grown-up commitments and partly because there's just too much new music out there. For someone who used to base his musical jumps into the unknown on an appearance in a trusted band's Thank You list (or failing that usually buying anything on Sub Pop) - the alternative music choice in 2008 can be quite overwhelming.

An old-school rock band then, with guitars bass and drums - that stand and fall by the quality of the songs rather than a quirky hook, look or attitude, is to this cynic, a 21st century blessing. In this respect, I suppose Shots shares more in common with Black Mountain, than Vampire Weekend. Little surprise perhaps, as Ladyhawk share a label with their fellow Canadians.

Recorded in an abandoned farmhouse, over a booze-fuelled two weeks, Shots is the soundtrack to one of the great parties. Rocking hard in places, edgy and introspective in others, it's a party that could spiral out of control at any minute, but one you definitely don't want to leave. Like Neil Young and his honeyslide powered On The Beach, Shots really captures the mood of its recording.

I Don't Always Know What You're Saying kicks things off and sets the mood; with a reverbed and fuzzy production that sounds exactly like it was recorded in a booze-fuelled abandoned farmhouse. S.T.H.D., Fear and Corpse Paint, maintain the tempo - dark, edgy, rocking. Before they slow it down for a couple of tracks, I'll Be Your Ashtray calls to mind yet more fellow Canadian's - Magnolia Electric Company (“I'll be your ashtray. Because I only want to feel you burning.”) whilst Faces of Death carries the melancholic air of too much whiskey.

But before getting too down, the party kicks off again with Night, You're Beautiful a self-explanatory title that could neatly sum-up Shots. You get the idea that Ladyhawk love the night - not in a whitefaced-Gothic kind of way, more that all the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll is going on after hours ( “Darkness you touch my soul. And you fill my heart. And you make me burn when we're apart”) They love the night so much, they even include a few “do-do-do” backing vocals amongst the sludge guitars.

And what better way to round all that off than with an eleven minute epic. Ghost Blues is in no hurry to get anywhere, and even lulls you into thinking that they've succumbed to a bit of self-indulgence. Then, around the 6 minute mark, the band let out a mighty Primal Scream; a call round a campfire for a higher spirit to take them home, probably a call to the Pagan God of Awesome Parties - whose number, without doubt, is in Ladyhawk's favourites.

A. Great. Album.


Links

Ladyhawk Ladyhawk
MySpace
Jagjaguwar

Tags

#chimpovich
#Music

25th Mar 2008 - Tumblr

4

News

Reviews

Articles

Surveillance

Related

The War On Drugs / The Dudes / Ladyhawk

Borderline, London October 1st 2008

The Cave Singers

Welcome Joy

Best Of 2008

Chimpovich

Breath

Decent Aussie surf drama, that nostalgically investigates the soul of surfing before losing i… https://t.co/qW3B55bCcG.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Aug 2019

Read more star reviews

Search

A Star is Born

Somewhat unremarkable, but enjoyable music drama. Bit long.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Two For Joy

Predictably grim seaside coming-of-age indie. Decent enough, but you’ve seen it before


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Jul 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Mary Poppins Returns

Stylish sequel, hampered in places by some authentic 1960s pacing.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

30th Jun 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Coraline

Out-there kids fable with an old school Tim Burton vibe.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Jun 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Blackkklansman

Rock solid 90s style indie movie. Beautifully assembled at all levels.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

31st May 2019

Read more 4 star reviews

Can’t Stand Losing You

Fairly one-sided Police doc about the seemingly dislikeable trio.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th May 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Tallulah

Decent, but slightly muddled parenting indie.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Dumbo

Forgettable re-imagining of a not totally unforgettable Disney classic.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Apr 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Missing Link

Solid stop-motion animation that’s light on plot, but high on charm.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

12th Apr 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Sicario 2

Soldaro

Surprisingly stylish sequel that drops the ball in classic straight-to-VHS style halfway through.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

6th Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Hold the Dark

Opaque Alaskan thriller from Jeremy Saulnier, with little regard for convention.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Apr 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Leave No Trace

Low key indie spin on Rambo, as a father and daughter try and live off grid.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

28th Mar 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

The Dirt

Fun biopic that runs out of steam about when the band did.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Deadpool 2

A diminished remake of Deadpool 1. Occasional LOLs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Mar 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Bird Box

High concept sci-fi that stretches its concept a little thin.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

19th Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Triple Frontier

Unremarkable, cliche-ridden actioner. Utterly lacking in suspense.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Mar 2019

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Jurassic World

Fallen Kingdom

A disjointed patchwork of homages, nods and rip offs from dozens of other movies, with little to offer of its own.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

11th Mar 2019

Read more 2 star reviews

A Quiet Place

Laborious, high-concept alien horror. While the concept is good, the beats are all well telegraphed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

2nd Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Isn’t It Romantic

Witty, if a little obvious, post-meta rom-com.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

1st Mar 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

The Lego Movie 2

The Second Part

It’s literally a re-hash of all the themes of the first one with a few less jokes.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

23rd Feb 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Unsane

Slight, but sometime engaging iPhone feature.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Jan 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Tully

Decent modern spin on Mary Poppins. Bit uneven, but a nice soundtrack helps things along.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

20th Jan 2019

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Rampage

Bog standard entry into The-Rock-action-movie genre. As much personality as a computer game.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

3rd Jan 2019

Read more 3 star reviews

Avengers

Infinity War

This time it’s really, really serious. Seriously.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Dec 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

The Greatest Showman

It’s a musical ...but slick direction makes it just about bearable.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Dec 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Ready Player One

Pop-culture bouillabaisse, hampered by numerous terrible accents.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Dec 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Lady Bird

Pacey, emotional, old-fashioned indie pic. Beautifully observed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Dec 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

Darkest Hour

Surprisingly underwhelming biopic that doesn’t find its feet until 20m from the end.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

24th Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Den of Thieves

Utterly derivative / thoroughly enjoyable ‘Heat’ rip off.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Well crafted character study, with some nice touches.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

10th Nov 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

You Were Never Really Here

Brutal revenge thriller. Stylish and violent, with plenty of explanation left to the imagination.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Nov 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Private Life

Intense indie drama from Netflix. Impeccably acted and directed.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Oct 2018

Read more 4 star reviews

Black Panther

Disappointingly unoriginal superhero movie, complete with dull CGI action.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

27th Oct 2018

Read more 2 star reviews

Modern Life is Rubbish

Continually clichéd rock romance that never breaks into originality.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

13th Oct 2018

Read more 1.5 star reviews

England is Mine

Dry Morrissey biopic that gets arty by avoiding using any Smiths songs.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Oct 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

The Only Living Boy in New York

Decent rehash of vintage indie movie tropes.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Oct 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Hostiles

Mumblingly wordy western that’s big on self-importance and low on drama and tension.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

25th Sep 2018

Read more 2.5 star reviews

The Disaster Artist

Muddled biopic with occasional moments of eccentric comedy madness.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

22nd Sep 2018

Read more 2.5 star reviews

The Boy Downstairs

Like a long episode of Girls that’s all about one of the more boring characters.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

16th Sep 2018

Read more 2 star reviews

Shot Caller

Slightly confused slice of post-Michael Mann LA crime.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

7th Sep 2018

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Ingrid Goes West

Sympathetic retread of Single White Female, with added #hashtags.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Aug 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Jumanji

Welcome to the Jungle

Fun updated reboot with added Breakfast Club.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

26th Aug 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Justice League

Low-tide mark for super hero movies. I only finished watching to see how bad it could get.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

14th Aug 2018

Read more 1 star reviews

Song to Song

It’s a cover version of every other Mallick pic, but the setting is inspired and the improv from Gosling is enjoyably enthusiastic.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

8th Aug 2018

Read more 3 star reviews

Paddington 2

Well written, well paced sequel. Surprisingly competent and heartwarming.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

4th Aug 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

Death Wish

70s pot boiler that lazily meanders through a series of mediocre set pieces.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

23rd Jul 2018

Read more 2.5 star reviews

Thor

Ragnarok

Enjoyable change of pace for the super hero genre. Comedy wins.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

21st Jul 2018

Read more 3.5 star reviews

How It Ends

Great concept, but shoddily directed and utterly devoid of jeopardy.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

17th Jul 2018

Read more 2 star reviews

Anthropoid

Small scale wartime espionage flick. Decent, but a bit laboured.


#JustWatched
#Film
#CSF

15th Jul 2018

Read more 3 star reviews