Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc - JOYFUL NOISE
FILTER Grade: 77%
By Kurt Orzeck on November 28, 2012
There’s nothing to fear for Joan of Arc fans who still wake up sweating from nightmares of The Gap, the iconoclastic band’s torturous and near-continuous song cycle from 2000. While this new Joan of Arc album might have you biting your nails in a bad way, it shouldn’t. “Chaplinesque,” the 15-minutes-plus track that comprises the record’s second side, is not as looming as it seems: it’s actually a rather pleasant jam that is the sole reason for picking up Joan of Arc. But as for the rest of the songs… It’s hard to recognize when any members not named Tim Kinsella are actually present. And with three of the six effectively sounding like demos, there’s no need for them to be. Let’s not mince words here: This is not an essential JOA album. It’s not unreasonable to envision Kinsella pulling up a chair mid-set and tossing out a couple of these songs to treat concert-going fans. But it’s much harder to imagine the band basing a tour or even a show around what is effectively a “bonus” album (one that is limited to only 500 copies, mind you). If you’re not a devoted fan, don’t lose any sleep over missing this one.