One of the greatest parts about Kelowna-based rock n’ rollers Ladyhawk is that they really don’t seem to give a damn. They just make music for music’s sake.
After a four-year break in between records, they have returned with No Can Do, a collection of 10 songs to have fun to. Their songs are genuine and incredibly listenable. Grinding with fuzzed-out electric guitars or laying it back with acoustic strumming, they connect in an honest way that is reminiscent of early Sloan records.
The album’s slow burn begins with “Footprints”, rolling along in an almost casual fashion before really cranking up the wall-of-sound effect for the choruses of “I’m A Witch” that sounds just a tad on the arena-rock side – but in a good way. The dial gets cranked further to the right on “Rub Me Wrong”, a perfectly succinct 90 seconds of dirty rock, with double-time choruses packed full of tambourine. “You Read My Mind” is another grunge-pop beauty, with driving eighth notes propelling the songs forward and brilliant vocal harmonies expanding the sound into even hookier territory.
Overall, Ladyhawk manages a very delicate balance between naughty and nice, with simple strummed acoustic guitars trading off with distortion and dissonance throughout the album. With only 3 songs clocking in at over 2:45, Ladyhawk have something to say and they don’t bother with platitudes. There are no wasted words here, no filler guitar solos thrown in, just what you need to satisfy your craving for that kind of music the rarely gets made anymore.
Whether you’re a 16-year-old teenager ridden with angst, or a middle-aged parent struggling with a mid-life crisis, it doesn’t matter. Just turn it up loud and let Ladyhawk make it all better.
Catch them on tour during their stop in Calgary at Broken City on October 20 with Baby Eagle and the Proud Mothers.