Review: Joan of Arc – “Eventually, All At Once”

The Chicago-area collective/Tim Kinsella pseudo-solo experiment offers up 10 tracks of textured folk ballads, knotted full-band fare and laid-back, jangly post-something vaguely in line with June of 44’s Anahata.

The group’s press material and its label’s website go out of their way to stress the record, all 36 minutes of it, took months to write but was recorded in five days. And rightfully so. A casual air carries the disc, which feels more like a gaggle of friends sitting in a basement hammering out familiar songs than a group cutting a plotted and precise full-length player.

Accordingly, the tracks that really jump out at the listener do so as much for their interesting asides — i.e., xylophone, layered guitars or a monotone choir of sorts — as for the passion of their performance. To close it off, the group offers an emotive acoustic take on the Robert Wyatt/Kramer-penned rumination “Free Will and Testament.” – Punk Planet, September/October 2006

About the author

Justin Vellucci is a staff writer for PopMatters, Spectrum Culture, and MusicTAP, a contributor to Pittsburgh Current, and a former staffer for Popdose, Punk Planet and Delusions of Adequacy. His music writing has appeared in national magazines such as American Songwriter, alt-pubs like The Brooklyn Rail, Pittsburgh CityPaper and San Diego CityBeat, blogs Swordfish, Punksburgh and Linoleum, and the Gannett magazine Jetty. He lives in Pittsburgh.