JOANovARC have been hard at work on their newest album “Ride Of Your Life,” since hitting the ground running in 2015, when they initially entered the music scene. The high energy, all female rock band, brought me back to my days at Berklee College of Music, where women rock ’n’ rollers weren’t exactly scarce, but very much treasured.
The first track, indeed the name of the album, “Ride Of Your Life,” reminded me of The Corrs - as did the eighth track, “Running Away,” with the yearningly earnest lead vocals and superb harmonies soaring over an air-tight rhythm section. There is no question as to why “Ride Of Your Life” holds such great importance to the band of women, especially as avid fans of biker culture.
“White Trash,” intrigued me initially by the name, but upon listening, I came to realize how crucially on point this song is lyrically, empowering listeners to pursue what their hearts tell them, whilst addressing the dissatisfaction of becoming “white trash.” Given the latest rhetoric of close-minded and backward politics when it comes to inclusiveness, the entire record, perhaps as society’s child, really hit close to home and resonated with me.
“Going Down,” the most bluesy of the tracks, really gets you going and is most likely the one to look out for live. “Five Years,” number seven for heaven, starts almost as if a tender ballad with a gorgeous introductory riff, but the drums almost seamlessly come in with such powerful a force. Arrangement wise, this track is a real gem for music geeks, aside from the jaw-droopingly awesome guitar solo.
Throughout the record, I was sort of hoping to find a song that reminded me of “The White Stripes,” as I felt subtle influences and low and behold came “Work,” track number 9. The song brings to mind the hipness of “Are You Gonna Be My Girl,” by Jet, with that heart-warming lo-fi aspect that The White Stripes always manage to capture so well.
In “Sisters,” I’ve interpreted some sense of loss and longing, bringing to mind the passion of “Sweet Child Of Mine,” by Guns ’n’ Roses. A truly a gorgeous track with a glorious outro featuring baller choices of chords and a stellar beat with epic fills.
The final track, “Peace Of Mind,” is a true gift to listeners, although, the entire song, in the “JOANovARC” style, expresses a profound gratitude to a loved one, in the form of peace of mind. Of all the songs, this one has to have the most dramatic build, with warm guitars, a beautiful range and vocal performance, leaving you with a wonderfully wholesome feeling, even though you’re listening to some pretty hardcore women who shred because their lives depend on it.
Ride Of Your Life finds JOANovARC at their full creative tilt delivering hard-hitting, retooled classic rock with a modern twist. Describing themselves as “Puss In Boots”, this four piece force of nature have delivered a statement of intent with their debut album.
Produced by Grammy Award winning Gil Norton (The Pixies, Foo Fighters) Ride Of Your Life has the essence of an old school record. Recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios, the album encapsulates and distills perfectly JOANovARC’s live energy. “He was completely different to what we expected, he brought the best out of us in the studio and let us breathe as musicians and made us feel like we were free to express everything in the studio”.
Ride Of Your Life track listing
01 Ride Of Your Life.
02 Dragon In The Sky.
03 White Trash.
04 Seeds Of Summer.
05 Live Rock’n’Roll.
06 Going Down.
07 Five Years.
08 Running Away.
11 Peace Of Mind.
JOANovARC is made up of:
Laura Ozholl – Rhythm Guitar/Bass/Vocals
Sam Walker – Lead Vocals/Bass/Rhythm guitar
Deborah Wildish – Drums/percussion
Shelley Walker – Lead guitar /Backing Vocals