Joan Of Arc The Gap

Every time Joan Of Arc releases a new album I get my hopes up that they will make an album that is more melodic, poppy and follows the verse-chorus-verse formula. The Gap, however, does not do what I hoped it would, but do not mistake this as a disappointment. With each album, the band pushes their craftsmanship for the obscure even further, and The Gap is a prime result of this. According to the band, their approach to the record was "more Bryter Layter Nick Drake and more Autechre at the same time." This approach could also be argued about the new Radiohead album, but what Joan of Arc does here seems purely original on their parts (unlike Kid A, which unfortunately lacks originality more than any other album this year). Comprised of live and studio recordings, this album contains everything from arguments between the band, singer Tim Kinsellas talking to himself, multiple instruments and computers, and over 100 tracks layered on certain songs. Most impressive of all is the band's effort in using glass bottles as an instrument, tossing them around on "As Black Pants Make Cat Hairs Appear," something every song could use. (Jade Tree)