Joan of Arc's Confounding Art-Rock Trajectory
by Brian Cook
on Sat, Sep 28, 2013 at 10:18 AM
(Barboza) The first couple of Joan of Arc LPs were difficult, but there were some really golden moments of warped beauty tucked away in Tim Kinsella's deconstructed art-rock. Around the time of their ironically titled studio album Live in Chicago 1999, though, you sensed that Kinsella and company were done making music and were now just fucking with you. Roughly a dozen albums later, Joan of Arc seem to have roped in the more puzzling bouts of experimentation. Sure, their moments of nimble instrumentation are still littered with found-sound detritus, and their passages of quirky beauty are still hacked to pieces before you can fall under their spell, but recent records feel less like "how much art can you take" tests and more like the exploratory math-rock collages of their early years. With Arrington de Dionyso's Songs of Psychic Fire.