Joan Of Arc The Intelligent Design of Joan of Arc

The Intelligent Design looks back on a decade’s worth of b-sides, Japanese bonus tracks and the like, kicking off with all three tracks off the Methods and Sentiment seven-inch from 1996. Two things stand out: the guitar interplay was wholly formed even then, and Tim Kinsella’s singing — still wilfully near-key now — had a strained yelp that made Will Oldham sound like Barry White. The early tracks affirm JOA’s fondness for post-recording edits and sudden shifts in tone and instrumentation as non-linear as Kinsella’s lyrics. The songs taken further left could become Gastr Del Sol or (waaaaaaay) further right, GBV. The skeletal cover of Promise Ring’s "A Picture Postcard” is a neat connector back to the two bands’ common roots in Cap’n Jazz. Fuel for the "burn smarty-pants Kinsella” pyre comes with the not-smart-not-essential tracks from the Japanese release of the How Can Anything So Little… EP, overlong sound soup of tape edits and fractured beats. The five tracks from the 2003 vinyl-only split with Bundini Brown (Tortoise’s Bundy K. Brown) are the high point, with the possible exception of the albino-white rapping on "You Say Tornaydo and I Say Tornahdo.” Only with JOA could you say this comp had good flow, but it does. (Polyvinyl)