Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Ladyhawke - Anxiety

It’s been a long wait, far too long a wait for Ladyhawke. Speculation turned to further speculation until the line was almost flat on her return, but here it is. Anxiety. Pip’s return promised so much; at times it promised grunge, at times it promised pop but now it’s here I’m not sure which it borders on least.

Okay, its possible that that’s skipping to the end, but for an album with so much promise and surely enough time spent on it to fulfil that promise, there just seems to be something lacking. Gone are many of the hooks from the self titled debut and in their place has been placed a worrying amount of sheen. Tracks such as Vanity ooze a cleaner style that begs for a darker hook whilst The Quick and the Dead is something short of Dusk Till Dawn. The comparisons run dry when you put it together on stage, but playing through via your preferred medium of player will see you return to the debut three and a half lines down the line. Comeback single Black White and Blue didn’t really inspire much more than a revival and whilst Sunday Drive has a similar aesthetic to the singles of the eponymous debut, it’s simply not as good.

Don’t read this wrong, it’s refreshing and relieving to have new material and there’s huge signs of growth in Pip Brown’s songwriting as a whole. Take Cellophane for example, it’s bold and refined at the same time. It’s got a beautiful pulse and is lyrically as strong as Ladyhawke’s ever been. “All those year running away we never knew // that it was meant to be” she sings. It’s borderline anthemic without relying on the catchy and it’s exactly what’s been missing from Ladyhawke as a whole. Still, there’s potential singles that are poppy with the slight grunge edge as promised so the “na na nanana”s of Blue Eyes will become a highlight of the live set should it receive such treatment.

It’s not the comeback of a three year itch that some had hoped for, but there’s promise there and with promise could come either mainstream recognition or simply a new niche. Let’s see.


Braden Fletcher

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