Barely five minutes into the conversation, Ladyhawk guitarist Darcy Hancock has buried himself deep into the inexhaustible topic: "So, what's your definition of Southern rock, then?" Without pause, Hancock--at home in Vancouver, Canada--sheepishly says the expected: "Lynyrd Skynyrd."
Ladyhawk, of course, isn't a Southern rock band, but, at times during their eponymous debut, they sound like the best one you've always overlooked, all rough and tight at the core and frazzled and loose at the ends, singing above raging guitars about sex in minivans and parties that last too long. But Hancock isn't sure if his band is as Southern as they sound.
Still, even though they've only toured through locales like Georgia and Mississippi, Ladyhawk seems to have broken from the mold of a city not far removed from the Southern fraternal order of places like Athens, Asheville and, to a lesser extent, Chapel Hill, the towns that produced R.E.M., Archers of Loaf and Superchunk, steamy Southern rock in every sense. The dudes of Ladyhawk grew up in the same small town outside of Vancouver, but the band coalesced only after five years in Vancouver, the city with the third highest standard of living in the world, a place with a shortage of drummers because they can't afford a practice space. Like most great Southern rockers, Ladyhawk came of age in a town that didn't get to rock beforehand, and, consequently, their music has always been about getting free and bringing the audience along. In Vancouver, Ladyhawk essentially resurrected the fun rock show, and the buzz grew as fast as their beards. Surely, you can rise for that, Southern man.
Ladyhawk plays Local 506 with Kunek and American Aquarium on Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $8.