If you were fortunate to have been assaulted by previous EP Alpha Beta Omega from UK band Wolves, then steel yourself or run for cover as they unleash the destruction that is new EP Cycles. Whereas before they tested and brought down the senses with an aggression borne of their namesakes this times Wolves go on to gnaw and corrupt the carcass with even greater and imaginative violent eagerness.
The quartet from North Wales are no strangers to acclaim, their appearances during their still relatively short life alongside the likes of The Blackout, William Control, Fei Comodo, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Polar, Evita and Blitz Kids let alone their previous release bringing strong and positive responses their way. Wolves are a band you do not forget in a hurry or want to. They do not make it an easy experience at times to share their company but always it is a fully intriguing and ultimately rewarding one. Releasing the Alpha Beta Omega EP in February the band took no time in writing and working on its successor Cycles. With four songs in the words of drummer Tom Williams which are ‘…based on the concept of human issues and struggles’, the band entered Orange Sound Studios in Penmaenmawr at the end of May to record in just two days the EP in its entirety. That drive is openly found on not only this release but the previous one too, the band determined yet controlled in forging their intent whether in ideas, sound, or its realisation for us.
The track Divide opens up the fury and is instantly a wonderful collision of crushing riffs, antagonistic rhythms, and vocals steeped in an even deeper well of venom, spite, and angst than seen before from the band. The song has a sheer hardcore punk attack which offers something different straight away from the band, the song rampaging like an aural rioter fuelled by rage and despair upon the senses. The track in mid torrent suddenly moves into a crawl of thick emotive energy which not quite doom or sludge sounds offers some of their tendencies before once more returning a storm of intensity through the ear. Ad Robinson is as uncompromising as ever but with the added diversity to his vocal attack through the unexpected aside brings something as agreeable and inventive as the coarse assault around him.
As second song Courage Breaker draws up on an excellent heavy steeled bassline from Ben Peers one is drawn like a magnet headlong into the following gale of corrupting riffs and electrified gashes of sound from guitarist Dan Hallows. It is glorious and leaves one breathless within moments allowing the song to permeate every atom with its rape of withering sonic manipulations and relentlessly jabbing beats. By this point one realises the band has sent the melodic side of their sound to its room like a naughty school boy. It is there toning the atmosphere of the songs but in a more inspiring than direct way, the tracks almost bruising the still defined emotive and evocative side of their music into realisation. It is an outstanding new approach and shows that whether their sound works for you or not, Wolves is extremely adept in their songwriting and for a band so young that only inspires greater anticipation for where they can evolve to.
Third song has the very apt title of Linger, its crawling venom and intense black breath remaining within past the song departure. Opening on a pulsating bassline accompanied at times by drums coming to the boil it is a haunting and ominous beginning. As the near desperate vocals of Robinson scour the ears with unbridled passion in a corruptive and clean delivery, the song winds its way through the ear igniting thoughts and feelings before its emotional collapse and heart given nightmare. A song to challenge deeper than ever and one to reawaken shadows within each and every individual it is a masterful violation and malignant intrusion which rewards more and more with each play.
Cycles ends on the equally senses staggering Dead Weight, its initial serpentine stalking a scarring and dehabilitating pleasure which explodes into another punk outrage of violence given birth from the blackest resentment and energy. The evolving air to the song is again like Linger, fully immersive, venomous and just as irresistibly dangerous to sanity.
As much as the last EP left only acclaim on the breath Cycles almost makes it look lightweight in quality and power, it is that good. Wolves are still a secret to most but surely now the country will awake to their monstrous quality.
Cycles is released July 9th and will be available for free on http://wolvesuk.bandcamp.com
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