In the latest offering from Chicago rockers Joan of Arc, we step back in time to its beginnings. Testimonium Songs presents a cacophony of post modern, experimental punk rock songs led by lead singer/songwriter Tim Kinsella and backed by current band members Bobby Burg, Victor Villareal and Theo Katsaounis.

The result is eclectic at best. Messy and self indulgent at worst, and ends up landing somewhere in between. However, when contemplated in the context for which it is purposed it all starts to make sense, kind of.

According to the bands website Testimonium Songs were written and composed by Joan of Arc over a two year period to be performed live during Testimonium, a work of performance by well-respected experimental theater ensemble Every House Has a Door.

To quote the site directly:

Testimonium responds — both in substance and in style — to Charles Reznikoff’s monumental work Testimony, a translation into poetry of courtroom transcripts of witness and victim testimonies in criminal cases and cases of workplace negligence, in the US, spanning the years 1885 to 1915. Performances of Testimonium incorporate modern dance, theater, and original songs written and played by Joan of Arc.

So with that in mind, a casual listen for a Joan Of Arc novice may not suffice, but if experimental rock or interpretive theater is your thing,  you may well love it. Existing fans will surely rejoice in its expressionistic style. 

(Polyvinyl Records)

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