Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Le Wolves - Le Wolves, album review

The Growl of the Present

Retro is no dirty word to this reviewer, steeped in nostalgia as I am and with a ghostly steam of the past rising from my aural appreciation like dew in the morning sun – and clearly not averse either to the extended metaphor – but I am nonetheless equally enamoured when contemporary bands bring a fresh brushstroke to Rock’s ancient paintwork.

Fresno California band Le Wolves do just that with this eponymous release, their ‘good shags’ Rock and Roll a track to track burn-up of wheel spun punkrock, lots of screeching in the guitars, drums bombarding, and vocals surrounded by screams and an apparent chorus of echoing shouts including coughs – well you would have to. There are two longish songs, Wizardry is one at four minutes like the other, and this is quite delicate, in a comparative way with more control in the screeching guitar work and shouted chorus – even the drums slow to a steady beat for more screeching guitar to sway above – and the vocal is sweetly progfolkrock until there is a speeded up return to the song’s core line. This is actually quite a complex song cycle, in the rock basics scheme of things. But the screams keep it symptomatic. Great stuff.

Hit Me Slow Like an Overdose follows this, and the burn-up is back on fire, the vocal hollowed out to a background scatter so that the instruments drive it all, punk rhythms, pounding bass and those pummelling drums. Way Back Home then arrives on the same bullet train merging punk and psychedelia, a brief guitar solo of sublime fuzziness. The rest is the same wildness, though Juanita, the other four-minuter, is lightened with a trebled bass and bird-like guitar riffs, though there is still some screeching. What an excellent rousing early evening's listen this has been

Can be heard here.

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