Real uniqueness in music is a long sought after and if we are honest rarely found aspect in the current music scene. But there are always a few exceptions and many more which come pretty close to finding that clear originality, and one such incitement is UK post-hardcore/punk ‘n’ rollers I Cried Wolf. The band is poised to release their new EP Hollow Heart, and it is a rousing roar of fierce invention and raw intimacy which sets the case for the Banbury quintet being the next big thing in certainly the British hardcore scene, if not its rock ‘n’ roll landscape, whilst creating an incitement which sets ears aflame and the band well away from the crowd.
Hollow Heart is a diverse and unpredictable encounter which you can at times reference to the likes of Dillinger Escape Plan and Every Time I Die as well as others such as Pantera and Reuben in certain moments and aspects, but an invigorating trespass on the senses and imagination which has a character and invention of its very own. The EP is the work of a band formed in 2012 and becoming quickly renowned for their ferocious live presence which has in turn garnered an increasingly potent and loyal following. The past couple of years or so has seen I Cried Wolf share stages with the likes of Bleed From Within, Hacktivist, Create To Inspire, Let’s Talk Daggers, Red Seas Fire, Bad Sign, and Surrender The Coast around the UK. Recorded with producer Sam Winfield (Bring Me The Horizon, Dry The River), Hollow Heart is the band’s broadest wake-up call for the country yet and one hard to imagine being ignored by very many.
Lyrically relating to the life of vocalist Harry Davies, “his reluctance to let go of the past….Of loss, lust, and betrayal”, Hollow Heart opens up with Scratching My Head With Ink and a scratching of riffs before exploding in a howl of sonic turbulence and vocal angst. To that though, is an immediate swing and volatile stroll bursting with imagination and quickly gripping hooks. The guitars of Louie Hodgson and Alex Gibbons cast raw smog of irritable riffs and gripping grooves whilst the drums of Oli Hampshire ransack the senses with their rugged yet rousing incitement. It is a thrilling and bracing proposal enhanced by the roaming throaty bassline spread by Jacob Rudman and the impassioned squalls from the lungs of Davies. That alone would be enough to provide potent bait for the appetite but it is the unpredictable nature of the song which makes a great song something special. The grooves just get heavier and spicier whilst Davies as he digs deeper into his emotions discovers a gripping Anselmo like grizzle to his delivery, whilst the song, well that just bristles punk attitude and heavy rock tenacity as it twists and turns.
The outstanding start is not let down by its successor, Massokiss Me an agitated swarm of toxic riffs and rhythmic rumbling from the off only breeding keener grooves, greater vocal diversity, and serious invention as it explores a host of flavours all bred in rock ‘n’ roll of some design. That subsequently leads into an impassioned post-hardcore seeded outpouring of melodic and vocal emotion, the track evolving within ears with broader and bolder enterprise before making way for the enthralling It Takes A Slave. It starts with a swing which is best described as blues meets ska punk meets jazz rock where Davies uncovers a dusty growl to his tones as the guitars weave a sultry enticing and the bass a funky lure behind him. It is an entrance which eventually expands into another fascinating and exciting entwining merger of diverse flavours, Faith No More a suggested hint to the ingenuity at play. Each song in a way is ordered bedlam, a vat of individual textures and styles twisted and aligned for songs which, as here, smash expectations and leaves a lingering and inescapable intrigue which simply draws ears keenly and swiftly back into its midst for more exploration.
Kensopia is a spiral of melodic revelry and suggestion from the off next, guitars almost duelling with their individual exploits as rhythms tenderise ears ready for the vocal prowess of Davies and band. Jagged riffs bring another new shade to the sound and release whilst an air of bands like Bring Me The Horizon comes forward briefly as the track moves on to pastures new and old in the strike of a chord or swing of a stick. It is another enjoyable aspect to the I Cried Wolf sound, it never stands still, always in creative motion meaning ears and thoughts have to be lively and willing to rerun the bruising fun again, and again to grasp all the rewards.
Sharkfeet brings Hollow Heart to its close, the track another cauldron of emotion and mouth-watering revelry in songwriting and a tenaciously uncaged tempest. Sonically burning, rhythmically intimidating, and consistently engrossing, the song simply boils over in adventure and almost psychotic invention yet, as all songs, manages to find a coherent and fluid passage across the whole of its explosive passage.
Impressive on the first listen and increasingly impacting and thrilling thereafter, there is only one word for Hollow Heart…remarkable!
Hollow Heart is digitally available from September 11th via Crooked Noise Records.
Pete RingMaster 11/09/2015
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