Debuting in 1986, disbanding in 1990 and now back with their first full length standalone LP 26 years later, The Wolfhounds are as furious and energetic as they ever were. There is a dystopian reflectiveness to their disjointed and modern-twisted punk, with sample manipulation, dub freak outs and detuned jangly and raw rock and roll chords.
Vinyl Double LP £19.93 BOX037LP
Gatefold 2LP on Odd Box. Edition of 500 copies.
CD £10.49 OPT4032CD
CD on Optic Nerve.
The Wolfhounds David Callahan has never been the happiest of bunnies but here he is utterly fuming. His vocal delivery has always had the feel of severely pissed off commuter about it and on the best songs here it strains above the tangle of guitars to update the Wolfhounds 80's bred indie rock for glum old 2016.
The album starts off with a bizarre overture 'Apparition' which is an odd perhaps self indulgent way to begin but all is worth it when 'Now I'm a Killer' hurdles into view. This is a band in their later days perfectly re-creating the sound of their golden youth, in fact it could have easily appeared on their grittier 'Altitude' album from 1990 or so. 'My Legendary Childhood' is ok - ish - I'm not overkeen on horns in indie pop nor on 'Our House' -esque paeons to lost childhood. The Wolfhounds are better when they create dark swirling anthemic indie rock as on the churning 'Everyday Monsters' or 'Thanks' with it's memorable skewed guitar intro and brilliant almost Sleaford Mods ish lyric about horrible under-appreciated working days.
There's a sense at times that the album is trying too hard - there's certainly an attempt at creating something reflecting the shit times we are having in 2016 with that unwieldy title and (staged?) artwork and there are lurches into very un Wolfhounds like sounds on the acoustic lo- fi 'Oppositeland' and the PIL like dirge of 'Fire in the Home'. The best bits are when the Wolfhounds are the Wolfhounds as no-one is better at being the Wolfhounds than the Wolfhounds. They still know how to do it....and still sound severely pissed off. The final two tracks are utter stonkers particularly the blitzkreig 'Across the River of Death' which manages to be both anthemic and abrasive.
Despite the odd unusual blind alley this is a strong comeback. There's a clutch of great Wolfhounds songs here and that's good enough for me.
8/10 Jon 24th April 2017
Not a review of the album (it's a Wolfhounds record, that should be enough), but the sleeve. This is in response to the comment in (Clints ?) review. This wasn't a staged photo. It caused quite a stir on North West local news (the image depicts a moments around 2.00 am in Manchester city centre) as the composition was being favourably compared to a classic painting by Monet - I forget which. I thought it important to share!
Now to hit the minimum character tally!*********************************
(Clint's note: yes I did read about this being a genuine photo and felt a total idiot for not realising. I then increased by idiocy by forgetting to amend the review accordingly. Thanks for the clarification)
YOUR RECENTLY VIEWED ITEMS
- Untied Kingdom (…or how to come to terms with your culture) by The Wolfhounds
What the artist or label has to say for themselves. Read more.