Record Label: Modular
It doesn’t bode well when an artist decides to call their new album Anxiety; it’s hardly the most convincing indication of a performer who’s happy in their own skin. This notion would appear true with Ladyhawke’s anxiously titled sophomore effort. Ladyhawke, or Pip Brown on her utility bills, promised a darker and more guitar driven effort this time following her 2008 anonymous debut which walked on the more synthetic side of the tracks. Anxiety crackles with the familiar sound of fretwork however its execution delivers a record firmly lodged at mid-pace.
From the word go, the first three tracks set the standard for the album, mid tempo, no peaks or troughs all coupled with Brown’s detached vocal. What’s baffling is how familiar the opening trio sound, ‘Girl Like Me’ has the fuzzed up bassline of ‘No Fun’ by The Stooges, ‘Sunday Drive’ contains the DNA of ‘Rock The Casbah’ by The Clash and to top things off ‘Black White and Blue’ seems to have pinched the vocal melody from the Bee Gees as ‘Tragedy’ appears to have been a indirect influence here. It almost feels like Brown has been signing into her bedroom mirror with a hairbrush to all her childhood favourites but this has crept into the album sessions for Anxiety.
As these three tracks lay down the ground work for this second LP, Anxiety feels like it’s being built on shaky foundations. The album’s title track is something of a clumsy fumble for any words that rhyme, sadly meaning the true subject matter of anxiety is lost in its flimsy execution.
The conviction to produce a brooding rock record appears to have fallen short due to the fact Anxiety is a pop album masquerading as the devils music. Much the same as your friend who loves to throw on a vintage Led Zeppelin T-Shirt but couldn’t hum one of their tunes and loves Lady Gaga; Anxiety loves the idea of being a rock record without the balls to carry it off. On paper Brown has the promise to churn out a decent guitar driven collection of songs, but Anxiety isn’t it. It’s not even close.
Words and Thoughts of Adam Williams