Ladyhawk

    {grate 3} One look at Ladyhawk’s group photo on the back cover of
    Shots and the curious consumer can make a somewhat educated guess as to what
    the contents of the album are going to sound like: sloppy beer-breath anthems
    for shaking your arms now and crashing to the floor later, sung by men with
    aversions to razors. Not a bad guess, actually, but not all true.

    Yes, you can almost smell the Jack Daniel’s as singer Duffy
    Driediger desperately bellows out the chorus to the opening track, “I Don’t
    Always Know What You’re Saying,” but to call the saturated feedback whines of
    barely-tuned guitars and garbled verse-hollers sloppy is erroneous. The
    roughness gives Shots a charm not possible if the Vancouver
    foursome were sober and drumming to a studio metronome. It gives the record a
    certain panache that makes the group all the more comparable to fellow
    Vancouverites Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and adds to Ladyhawk’s Southern
    raucous rock.

    Driediger and company are punch-drunk through the whole
    duration of Shots. The nine tracks
    embody every type of boozehound,
    alternately sounding like an angry drunk, a depressed drunk and that
    drunk you met the other night who gave you relationship advice while anxiously
    waiting for the crossing light to change.

    Shots closes with “Ghost Blues,” a slow 10-and-a-half-minute
    burn, climaxing at six minutes with a primal group scream, and finally ending
    in quiet acoustic arpeggios.

    The album was recorded in a gutted farmhouse in Kelowna,
    British Columbia
    by four grizzly men and
    that’s exactly what it sounds like. Never mind musical technique, Ladyhawk
    makes you want to shout down the hallways, with arms around a chum’s shoulder,
    finally collapsing on the couch after a strange, introspective, 39-minute
    ethanol-fueled trip.

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