Label: Polyvinyl Release date: 15/10/10 Link: Myspace Buy: Amazon So Joan Of Arc have released a new single. Is it a continuation of their last album? Is it a back to basics record? Is it a culmination of their fifteen years as a band, taking influence from all their best sounds and combining them to create a career defining 7”? Basically, it’s impossible to ever really fuckin’ know one way or another with these guys. Under Tim Kinsella’s leadership (you know. He was in Cap’n Jazz and his brother is Owen), Joan Of Arc have released an insane amount of music, often putting out more than one album a year. It really is just too much to keep track of, even for the most dedicated of Kinsella fans, especially given the idiosyncratic and esoteric nature of the band’s catalogue. Very few albums sound the same, whilst some of it is perfectly weird pop and some of it borders on unlistenable. 'Meaningful Work' is more or less right in the middle. As close to a ‘standard’ Joan Of Arc rock number as you can really get, fans will like it, and those who have never really liked the band and go to their shows purely to shout for American Football songs will still wonder what all the fuss is about. It is, however, a pretty good introduction for newcomers to the world of Joan Of Arc – if you like ‘Meaningful Work’ and the more-of-the-same B-side ‘The Thing In Things’, then it’s a pretty good sign that you should go back and try out some of their finer albums, namely Live In Chicago, 1999, which isn’t actually a live album and is probably closest in sound to these new tracks. If you’re not feeling it, though, then it’s a fair shout that you won’t be all that impressed with anything the band has to offer. If you’re still one of the few people left who actively tries to keep up with Joan Of Arc’s overwhelming release schedule, and actually enjoys it all, then this single will likely keep you happy. It’s not the band doing what they do best – it’s not quite weird enough for it to stand up alongside their best works – but doing what they do pretty well, which is off-kilter indie pop-rock with Tim Kinsella’s unique lyrical style. It definitely bodes well for a new album, which will doubtless crop up before you’ve had time to get through this. Photobucket