Dead Wolf Club - Dead Wolf Club
January is a good time to take a listen to the self titled debut album from Dead Wolf Club. Its quiet/loud dynamic is just the thing to shake you out of your post festive torpor. It sounds like a missive from a deserted island where they've sealed themselves off from the rest of the world with nothing but well worn copies of the collected works of Liars, The Pixies and the early albums of Idlewild to keep them company. Disregarding the current vogue for lo-fi surf pop, the Cornish quartet prefer to make your eardrums earn their money with the kind of racket that used to make NME journalists go into hyperbolic shock. It's like a double espresso for the ears blowing away any cobwebs better than a trip to a wind farm in a hurricane.
Dead Wolf Club captures the visceral, instrument wrecking, edgy feel of their live shows perfectly. Ear shredding guitars? Check. Screamed, impassioned vocals? Check. Thumping, pounding drums? Check. With its murky vocals and grungy riff album opener 'Headful of Horrors' launches Dead Wolf Club with a nihilistic bang. 'Radar' is urgent, visceral punk from the dark side pummelling your ears like a prize fighter on red bull. 'News At Ten' and final track 'Not What It Seems' are angular and angry, simmering with the barely controlled rage of a bedroom anarchist. 'Allison' is just pure anger spat out like venom from a frightened cobra. I don't know what she's done to lead singer John Othello but I suggest Allison takes out a restraining order and gets herself some personal protection.
It's not all furious, no nonsense high decibel rock 'Colossus', at 5 minutes the longest track on the album, and 'Waves' are brooding and melodic anthems that just build and build until they finally fall apart in a squall of feedback. 'Disappear' owes more to the avant-garde post punk of Liars than the Pixies. This variety sets the album apart from the crowd, lifts it above the ordinary and makes the dull days of January much more bearable.
Dead Wolf Club is energetic yet comforting, distorted yet melodic, aggressive yet sensitive, raw yet polished. It's a unique monster of an album created from the best bits of Doolittle, They Threw Us All In A Trench And Built A Monument On Top and 100 Broken Windows topped off with the righteous anger of a generation betrayed.
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