It's been a long time coming, but Joan Wasser has finally released a solo record, and it's as good as you would expect. In case you're not familiar with her, Wasser was a member of the underrated Dambuilders, and she also played in post-Grifters project Those Bastard Souls as well as Black Beetle, a promising group formed with members of boyfriend Jeff Buckley's band. They never did get around to releasing their debut album, though they were a quite popular live band and their sole release was a really promising, excellent song on Arena Rock's classic This is New York compilation.
Joan As Police Woman, a five-song salvo, is a great debut for this long-appreciated talent, and it highlights what makes Wasser so special: that voice. Wasser has a really strong singing voice that can cover high and low ranges quite nicely; she can take it down low and get down and dirty, as heard on "Prime Mover" and "How Come You're So Solid Gold?," but she can also handle the high ranges, as heard on "Game of Life" and the Buckleyesque "Stagger Into The Light." While all of these songs have a gritty, indie-rock feel to them, you cannot deny the soul and blues elements that run through every track.
It's been too long coming, with too many little hints of what Wasser can do, and Joan As Police Woman is a great little debut record from a talent who promises greatness no matter what she may choose to do. Though at five songs, it's painfully, criminally short, it's still a great little record. Hopefully a full length won't be too long in coming.
Artist Website: http://www.joanaspolicewoman.com