Wolves: Cycles EP

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

http://www.facebook.com/wolvesuk

RingMaster 06/07/2012

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Interview with Tom Williams and Ben Peers of Wolves

In what has been an impressive wave of young extreme metal bands emerging recently one has stood out over most others. Welsh band Wolves since forming two years ago have lit up stages supporting some notable names as well as announcing themselves to a wider audience with an impressive two track release  and their excellent brand new EP Alpha Beta Omega. Wanting to know more about the band we had the pleasure of having drummer Tom Williams aided by bassist/vocalist Ben Peers answer some questions about Wolves and their new EP.

Hi Guys many thanks for talking to us.

Firstly can you tell our readers about Wolves and its members?

Wolves are Ad Robinson (vocals), Ben Peers (bass, vocals), Dan Hallows (guitar) and Tom Williams (drums)

How and when did the band begin?

Tom: I met the guys at the end of 2009 through knowing the same people, but really we got the ball rolling last year.

Is Wolves your first band or is there a musical history for you before this?

Tom: We’d all been in local bands before, but nothing that had really taken off. Wolves is pretty much the first thing any of us have done that’s actually moved from just playing at home to our mates

Coming from North Wales there is a strong pedigree before you to contend with, is this as much a negative as a positive with people making assumptions about you and your sound before hearing you?

Tom: There’s tons of great music around here, but it doesn’t really feel like we’re contending with anyone. We tend to get on with most bands we play with actually. I’m not sure what people assume before they see us, but we’ve had such a positive reaction away from home.

You sit in the post hardcore camp musically but have a definite depth and power plus an invention that leaves you spanning other genres too, what are the influences that have made the most impact on your music?

Tom: We all have different tastes, so I think there’s probably the old cliché of a “melting pot” of influences. I’m still not really sure if we’re “post-hardcore”, to be honest. We do love bands like Alexisonfire, Underoath and Thrice though. They’ve definitely worked their way into our sound.

There has been an abundance of similar veined bands appearing in the UK over the past 12 months or so, what is it in your music that makes you stand out do you believe over most others?

Tom: I think we’re probably the least equipped to answer that, haha! I’d like to think we keep enough distance from trends; there are quite a few standards which I think we don’t really fit in. Our aim is still the same though – we just want to write noisy emotive music.

You have just released your excellent Alpha Beta Omega EP; a release we said was not an easy ride for the senses and emotions but a deeply rewarding and satisfying violation at the same time. What is the initial thought when writing a song, to annihilate and make us suffer or to leave us whimpering down on our knees haha?

Tom: Thanks for your support! The aim, really, is to make ears bleed. We want to be responsible for more A+E visits. The NHS hates us.

Seriously though what fuels your songwriting initially?

There isn’t really an initial thought or plan, everything just comes together as we jam. The only preparation we make is coming up with a loose theme or concept. That normally leads to the songs being able to connect better, so hopefully it stands as a body of work.

How does the songwriting work within the band generally?

Tom: We’re very collaborative. Nobody really comes in with any ideas ready or preconceptions; we just play, and things develop from there.

Your formidable lyrics are on the whole angry, combative and provocative, what is the main spark and inspiration for them.

Tom: I think people mistake us sometimes for being political; we’re really not. We’re just trying to write about human struggles, things we’re going through as well as things we’re engaged in on a larger scale. There’s definitely some fury directed, but it’s still kinda vague.

You have shared stages with the likes of The Blackout, William Control, Fei Comodo, Shadows Chasing Ghosts, Polar, Evita and Blitz Kids since forming. What has been the highlight gig wise so far and how much does watching other bands like this impact on your stage and song craft?

Tom: For me it’s playing at venues like The Roadhouse in Manchester and The Sugarmill in Stoke, to appreciative audiences. I always see watching other bands as a bonus. We’ve made some amazing friends and been massively inspired along the way.

Any shows that have not gone to plan for you i.e. disasters haha, as these can equally benefits a band in so many ways in the future.

Tom: They happen now and then. No matter how much you prepare, when things go wrong, you’re never ready. Some of our most chaotic gigs have been the messy ones though, so it’s not always a bad thing…

Ben: For me it was the last show at Retro Bar. My bass cut out continuously and by the time we got half way through the set I gave up completely, picked up a mic and screamed my lungs out along with Ad for the remainder.

Tom: It was actually really cool

Back to the EP, is there a moment on it that gives you the biggest pride or glow?

Tom: I can’t even listen to it. I really hope people like it, and I’m happy with the response, but I struggle being enthusiastic about it. The other guys are much better at that. It’s not that I don’t like it; I just think it’s difficult to have a decent perspective on something you’ve been so involved in.

Alpha Beta Omega is the follow-up to Adrienne-Lynn / Tongue Tied of last year and both releases bring your live power and intensity to the fore. How have you managed to do that so successfully where other bands seem to lose that quality?

Tom: I’m still not really convinced we have, to be honest. That’s always the goal though.

On the new EP the vocals of Ad are a wonderfully mighty growling and at times gruelling venomous attack on the senses which is a perfect companion to your sounds but on the song Collapse you add clean vocals too, is this aspect one you are looking at bringing in more often in the future?

Tom: I don’t think so. If there’s a place for it then we’ll definitely add it in, but we wouldn’t make a conscious decision to include more. So we may as well wave goodbye to radio.

On a great many similar genre releases the aggression and intensity over powers the individual  spice and skill of band members coming through but Alpha Beta Omega is openly generous and effective in that department. Who is behind the mix and production side of the release and how much input as a band did you have in the final sound?

Tom: Thank you. A guy called Gavin Brady recorded and mixed it for us. We had a say on the sound – there were lots of things he would’ve preferred to do differently, I think. But, to be fair, he followed everything we asked. Can’t ask for more than that.

What is next in the planned domination of the UK by Wolves?

Tom: We’re going to become MPs. Failing that, we’ll start the next riot.

Really though, we’re working on our second EP at the minute, then we’ll be back playing as many shows as possible again.

Thanks so much for sharing time to answer our questions and good luck with the EP.

Would you like to end with some words for your fans and all of those sure to become such after listening to Alpha Beta Omega?

Tom: Thanks for listening, we really appreciate it and hope you get something out of it.

And finally give us a song or band that you have a keenness for which one would not expect from listening to you music.

Tom: We’re all massive Celine Dion fans.

Ben: Imogen Heap. No joke…

 

Read the  Alpha Beta Omega EP review @ https://ringmasterreviewintroduces.wordpress.com/2012/03/29/wolves-alpha-beta-omega/

The RingMaster Review 06/04/2012

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