A Review: Werewolves
August 5, 2009 § 6 Comments
I found these guys one day several months ago whilst trolling Myspace, apparently hailing from somewhere in America (their Myspace page seems a little vague). At the time their band photo was the mugshots of Jane Fonda during her stint with the Black Panthers, and I could instantly tell that this was a band that had strong ties to that sort of late 60s and early 70s culture, or were at least taking the piss. Upon listening to the few songs posted up I ordered the 7″ for “Fire”, that features some terrific guitar drone and howling vocals.
The band has just posted their album for free, Dance Raincoat Glass. I have to tell you, it’s fucking fantastic. The guitars are big and raw; the vocals are rough, melodic and harrowing (in a good way). All I can say is if the music itself doesn’t indicate that the band members are fans of The Velvet Underground then perhaps it is clear in the track titles such as “Christa Paffgen Head Injury”–Nico’s real name was Christa Paffgen. However, it’s not that the music is just making a list of what influenced it, because honestly, most people hate that, no… the music has girth, soul and finesse that recalls a bygone era of psychedelia and big sound, but makes it relevant by also sounding contemporary.
My favourite tracks are “Kissing Alice” a downtempo song with this really strange effected loop; “Live Through War”, a seven minute track with copious amounts of slow echoey guitar and hypnotic piano; “House Of Anarchists”, the album’s swan-song employs rapid-fire tremolo fueled guitar and makes me think of Echo and the Bunnymen, with a sort of anthem-like chorus.
But let’s be honest, this ranks as one of my favourite albums of the year, and I’ve heard many good ones this year. It sounds more mature than a lot of new music and it has a certain consciousness that a lot new bands’ music has not yet developed. Dance Raincoat Glass is one of those albums that will sound good more than five years from now and longer; I can’t say that about many albums, which sometimes seem despairingly short-lived in their value, before slipping into the realm of cliché or simply nostalgia, like the old wood-paneled television with a bad picture that you keep around because it looks nice but doesn’t do anything. Werewolves skip that sort of ugly trend restraint and sound like they could’ve existed during the (late)60s or any other decade after it.