Des Ark - Don't Rock The Boat, Sink The Fucker
Sometimes we give serious consideration to only ever reviewing material from female artists. Just seems like if there's a woman involved, the hit rate seems higher and there's no chance of an indifferent-looking CD turning out to be yet another Oasis tribute or mediocre indie band. Here's yet another album worthy of investigation in a year when the likes of Anna Calvi, PJ Harvey and Sarabeth Tucek will be jostling for position come the year-end polls. If you like Liz Phair or Juliana Hatfield (and we do, very much) then that can be your starting point. Aimee Argote brings a frankness ("You were getting strung out / And I was fucking every girl who looked my way" - 'FTW Y'all') with the breathy vocals and chiming harmonics; drummer Johnny Ward providing a solid foundation, yet understanding the somewhile necessity of silence. But it's not all sweetness: 'Bonne Chance, Asshole' unexpectedly kicks off and 'Ashley's Song' ("There was a boy twice my age or maybe more / His hands were cast like stone / And he practiced what he'd learned inside of me") has all the rhythmic tension of prime Sleater Kinney. There may only be eight songs, but that's enough. One that has largely fallen under the radar - in the UK at least - and we owe it to Des Ark to remedy that situation.