Rock duos have never been an absent feature of rock ‘n’ roll across the decades, the likes of The Everleys, The Carpenters, and alongside all those which spring to your mind right now The White Stripes all notable irresistible protagonists. It feels right now though that there is a real wealth and strength in depth to two-pronged innovative rock bands. The UK has the caustic garage punk/rock ‘n’ rollers The Creeping Ivies, Canada the raw and sonically insatiable might of The Black Frame Spectacle, whilst the US can offer up the country punk of The Barnyard Stompers and the blues punk fire of In The Whale. These are just four of the savagely potent enticements within the underground to which you can forcibly add The Ghost Wolves.
Hailing from Austin, TX, the duo of husband and wife Carley and Jonathan Wolf create a delta blues/garage rock inspired storm which stirs up the imagination and steals the passions like a fully loaded dose of sonic moonshine. Its raw and addictive recipe is irresistibly unleashed in a diverse mix of flavours within the band’s debut album Man, Woman, Beast. It is a rugged yet fuzzily seductive stomp of an encounter which leaves senses sore, bloated, and desperate for more.
Formed in 2011, The Ghost Wolves has spent the years since garnering more and more acclaim and support as well as a feistily growing fan base. Released on Nashville’s Plowboy Records, Man, Woman, Beast follows the success of the band’s 12” EP In Ya Neck! of 2011 and the following year the 7” single Getchya Hip Thrust, both on Pau Wau Records. The album already acclaimed in their homeland, has all the abrasing charm and enthralling enterprise, not forgetting sheer unruly beauty, to push the band into a wider world bred spotlight,
The first slice of infection is Shotgun Pistol Grip, the opening track an immediate sizzling bait to seduce ears and emotions. The heavy throaty tones of Carley’s guitar ignites ears right away to be joined within a breath or two by the similarly coaxing crisp beats of Jonathan. There is an almost cantankerous swagger to the track, its rhythmic shoulders and melodic intent as feistily imposing as they are engagingly alluring. It is rapacious bait which steels its sinews to hold is tempting as the mischievously cute and flirtatiously melodic vocals of Carley caress ears, assisted as impressively by hubby. There is also an underlying surf rock breeze to the song which embraces the senses before making way for the fiery Gonna Live. Brewed in a richer distillery of blues, the track is an instinctively alluring prime rock ‘n’ roll canter. Guitars flame and groan with scuzz kissed toxicity whilst the vocals and chorus produce a rock revelry which demands attention from feet and emotions.
The ridiculously potent and thrilling start to the album is continued with Baby Fang Thang, a song which swings its melodic scuzz wrapped hips like a lap dancer from the first sway whilst beats punctuate the seduction with their own distinct potency. As with so many of the songs, verse and build ups are siren-esque especially vocally, but it is the toxicity of the chorus which sparks lustful passion, and in no greater success than on the third song. With a temptation which is like a fusion of Daisy Chainsaw and Karn8, the song licks at the senses with the salacious wickedness of a temptress and naive charm of a sultry breeze.
Both the coarse boned Grave Dollas and Ride The Wolf keep things aflame in quality and ears, the first a anthemic romp of energised rhythms and swinging vocal lures within another squalling blaze of blues lilted guitar colour. Its successor is a slow prowl of salaciously grinning vocals and sonic beckoning, the sultry seductive air of the song again reminding strongly of Karn8 whilst the heavier garage rock predation which equally crawls over the senses has a seventies psychedelic essence which also embraces flavours to be found in artists like Hasil Adkins, The Cramps, The White Stripes, and Morass of Molasses.
I Was Wrong uncages another sinew built stomp, rhythms casting a firm net for the twin vocals and smouldering guitar attack to tease ears with devilish efficiency, before the next up Itch unveils an earthy groove to lose inhibitions to. Whereas the last couple of songs richly pleased but lacked some of the lust breeding power of earlier tracks, this song is another Devil spawned seducing which wakes up the imagination and ardour fuelled passion like popping candy in the mouth, every note and beat a frenetic but fluid croon to set passions of eager edge. A welcome easily exploited by the intoxicating I’m Yo Mudda, its winding and swerving blues filtered grooves pure sonic manna.
The riveting limb enslaving Attack, Attack, Attack hits another pinnacle for the album, its veins pumped with fevered rapaciousness and hungry suasion driven by rhythmic stabs and vocal pokes. It is a sensational stomping which leaves the body breathless and hunger burning as greedily as the passions. Ensuring that the song’s glory is pushed to the final song, Dangerous Moves stands before ears with vocal enticement blazing radiantly within waves of blues toned guitar caressing, both leading to another crazily addictive and wonderfully toxic choruses. The song is a brilliant and pungent furnace of sound and anthemically evocative hues which sums up The Ghost Wolves perfectly.
Now we said these were the last songs and they are on the download version but we suggest going for the CD which comes with an extra trio of songs, tracks recorded live which you do not want to miss. The slow lumbering almost erotic beauty of Lies I Told is alone a treat but White Lily is the big prize, the song a scuzz lined dance of captivating beats and irrepressibly magnetic grooves all under the spell of the dual vocal temptation. The hypnotic rhythmic hex which opens up Mosquito is also a massive draw whilst the song once into its heart lays down a mesh of sonic bruising which ravenously grips an unrelenting appetite for the album.
Man, Woman, Beast is one of the real triumphs and pleasures of the year and The Ghost Wolves, a band to set the primal heart and beast in us all free.
Man, Woman, Beast is available now @ http://theghostwolves.bandcamp.com/album/man-woman-beast-2014 and on CD/vinyl through Plowboy Records! @ http://plowboyrecords.com/store/the-ghost-wolves/
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