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JOANovARC: JOANovARC

Although they formed some time before, JOANovARC truly galloped into battle with their 2016 full length debut album, Ride Of Your Life. It was a record that made quite an impact and gained this foursome more than the occasional admiring glance, with positive remarks coming from places as far and wide as Kerrang! Radio and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden. Following that up comes album number two, a self titled beast that lyrically is a caustic view on the journey of a band as they make their way through life both in and out of the music world. If you’re looking for sweetness and light or songs of love and sunsets, then seek elsewhere, because bassist and singer Samantha Walker is taking no prisoners.

Musically things are less in your face and less of a hold on tight romp, with a surprisingly cultured rock stance often taken to bring these tales into being. Lead guitarist Samantha Walker, on the likes of “Waiting For”, rolls out some fine solos and alongside rhythm six-stringer Laura Ozholl, lays down some thick riffs. And yet, even with drummer Deborah Wildish pushing and shoving from behind the kit, things are sometimes just a little too constrained for their own good. “Burning” undoubtedly sticks in the mind, with a chorus that digs in deep, while “Jane” pumps and grinds on booming bass lines and forceful bursts of guitar. On the other end of the scale, “When We Were” is a strum along acoustic number that looks over its shoulder to days gone by, whereas “Try It On” is a self-contained shuffle that feels like it’s constantly trying to grow into something much more grand but never quite does. In many ways that sums up my feelings towards this album, with no real low points or areas that you can pinpoint as a weakness. And yet, that not much has stuck with me after numerous spins of JOANovARC, leaves a feeling that this band have assumed a holding position with this second foray, rather than a full on, impassioned attack on the sense.

Don’t get me wrong, “Down By The River” and its slightly more forceful stance is a classy slice of mature rock and “People Coming Up” is a sing along delight full of chants and hooks but as an album, the over riding feeling I’m left with is that everything is just a little too safe and a little too steady. JOANovARC is good, I just hoped it would be a little more dangerous.


Track Listing
1. Burning

2. Waiting For 

3. Down By The River 

4. People Coming Up 

5. Take It Out 

6. When We Were Young

7. Try It On

8. Jane

9. This Way 

10. Slipping Away 

11. Go Home

Added: May 25th 2019
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: JOANovARC online
Hits: 79
Language: english

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