Middle Aged Freaks is the first LP in 24 years from indie/C86 veterans The Wolfhounds. Initially forming in 1985, the band reformed in 2005, and other than an EP in 2012, which collected tracks that pre-dated their first single, they've been relatively quiet since their reformation, though releasing a scattering of recordings and working on new material behind the scenes. The results of which feature here, on Middle Aged Freaks, which brings together all of their recordings since they reunited. 'Bout time!
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I’ve been told that I have the music taste of a balding, middle aged Melody Maker journalist, but I was barely a year old when The Wolfhounds last released an LP, Attitude, in 1990, and apart from their stand-out appearance on the C86 cassette and a couple of singles here and there, I’ve never really given the band that much thought until now (I know, travesty!).
Despite being relatively quiet since reforming in 2005 – releasing an EP of old but previously unreleased material – they’ve not exactly spent their time idly. They’ve been working on new material since reforming, releasing bits of recordings but never a proper full length of new material. Middle Aged Freaks, then, has been a long time coming - and it doesn’t disappoint.
As a fifth studio record, it prevails where they’ve progressed: the wit and self-deprecation of their earlier music has lessened but is still present, and it’s all executed with more vigour: ‘6000 Acres’’ spiky, repetitious guitar riffs and elongated vocal sprawls, for example, sound like a mixture of old and contemporary Fall, if Mark E Smith was sober and just a little bit more coherent.
It’s a recurring theme, and their association with the often misunderstood, saccharine connotations of C86 seems somewhat irrelevant here, apart from the fact that they still do what most indie bands did in the 1980s: playing guitars in a room with their mates, without any overly-ambitious artistic aspirations.
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