There’s a moment in a successful band’s evolution that defines the arc of their career. A song, a chord change, a verse when everything changes. For Ladyhawk, that moment is the far too brief two-minute metamorphosis, “No Can Do.” With harmonies and a hook big enough it could be found in any duffer’s bag, this song is the band’s tipping point.
Ladyhawk’s legend grew from drunken campfire howls and morning after, stomach churning regrets, but your hear the transformation when No Can Do hits three-hole in the lineup and it just clicks. There are no showman boasts or forced theatrics, especially evident as the song follows the Chad Van Gaalen worthy “I’m a Witch”. “No Can Do” is a remarkably simple, straight forward rock anthem that explodes from your speakers and it’s the type of song that rock bands dream of writing.
Although the bands are miles apart sonically and in subject matter, the best comparison I can make is to compare Ladyhawk’s growth on No Can Do to that of The National with the release of Boxer. Restraint. Professionalism. Crispness. These words that don’t normally lend themselves to rock ‘n roll (especially for a rough and ready rock outfit like Ladyhakw), but when executed correctly, they describe something magical.
There are no unrealistic ceilings or wild, blind swings. No Can Do, much like Boxer, jabs with precision and surprising power. The results leave eyes blackened, jaws sore and legs wobbled. They sap your will to fight and slowly your hands start to lower. Ladyhawk is no longer throwing knockout blows that only connect when the variables align, because, quite simply, they don’t have to. There are still delightful moments of noise and rage (“Rub Me Wrong” and the swirling outro of “Eyes of Passion”), but they are blended seamlessly into the bigger picture instead of acting as the dominating brushstroke.
Remarkably though, Ladyhawk is able to make this jump without losing any fans or authenticity. This is the record the Vancouver band was destined to make, but unlike so many rock outfits, they were actually able to deliver on their potential. The sound went on forever… lets hope that is true.
MP3:: Ladyhawk - No Can Do