Ladyhawk Ladyhawk

Ladyhawk have received a fair amount of press recently, thanks in no small part to connections with that Vancouver-based "Mountain family” (Black Mountain, Pink Mountaintops). While Ladyhawk are not exactly shaking the earth yet, out of the newest crop of hype bands they certainly lean more to the "deserving” side of the critical binary. Starting with the lazy-paced and twang-y "48 Hours,” they establish a formula that will pick up the pace but maintain for the rest of the album: simple-but-effective guitar hooks, normal-sounding rock vocals (thank God!), and a country disposition — suffice to say, Ladyhawk have released a pretty good, Canadian-roots rock album. The band’s good intuition means that their stripped-down songs are usually interesting enough without any make-up. Any impulses toward the inappropriately artsy have been channelled into nonsensical cover art (can’t win ’em all), but the band seem to have focused their energy on writing good songs thereafter. It’s not all simple-minded bar-romping — the album’s darker tracks, such as "Long ’Til the Morning” — with a spooky, reverb-drenched call-chorus — are just as good and just as to-the-point as their rock kickers. Ladyhawk are highly competent, whatever the case, and this is good — though not always great, it is certainly a great start. (Storyboard)