Joan Of Arc are veterans of the game by now, having been crafting post-rock in Chicago since 1995, when post-rock still meant ‘inventive and interesting’. He’s Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands, their first album in five years, is as brimming with melodic detail as any of their work. Out on the Joyful Noise label on CD and black and pink vinyl editions.
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Here he is: the less emotional but certifiably more obnoxious Kinsella brother, the one you’re far less likely to go getting a lyrics tattoo in tribute to. Having used the proggy, skronky, and downright stupid Joan of Arc as a vehicle for the most dissonant and untenable musical positions of his career, he now returns with the delightfully titled but extremely questionable ‘He’s Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands’. A record of half-wired rhythms and sloshed stumbles towards songs, it mostly exists for Kinsella to spew rubbish over the insurance of noise.
Kinsella likes to make willfully abrasive music, but the truth is it sounds more twee when he gets ‘round to making it: “This Must be the Placenta” has a churning, Shellac-sick guitar riff and a bunch of dumbass crude lyrics, but the actual vocal melodies sound like something out of a bad cartoon theme, coming with ill-practiced harmonies that are bleeped out so as to even feel remotely interesting. “Stranged that Egg Yolk” is a sort of abstract shambles, its edge-dangling guitars, occasional synth figure and tinny beat in theory resembling the random movements of Storm & Stress, but ultimately sounding more like a pissed She & Him trying to make a sad song.
It’s not a massively interesting record, musically -- much like a variety of Joan of Arc records it scrambles for fragments of Kinsella's math, mingling it with bits of riff detritus. As for its lyrics, they're half-poetic mumbles mixed with an arseified humour that's only "funny" in the way shitty bands like Anal Cunt have been -- not to anywhere near the same degree, of course, but basically in the same alignment: say enough shit that you can point to it as a whole pile of shit, not just one bit of shit but an intentional mass of shit. Noise rock is the new bad stand up. If you wanna hear an indie dad cracking unwise, just listen to the D-Plan’s ‘Uncanney Valley’ and avoid having to brush your teeth.
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