Saturday 22 June 2013

Space Wolves - III

Album review by

New York's Space Wolves really are putting other bands to shame. Granted, it does take a year or two to come out with a record as ambitious as, say, 'OK Computer' or 'Ladies & Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space', but considering that much of the "indie" world are currently concentrating on writing records full of short, catchy guitar-pop songs, then the Buffalo group are showing them up with their proficiency. If we look at our review history of the band we have: first album 'Space Wolves' (released in October, 2012), second album 'Space Wolves II' (released in November 2012) and now third album 'Space Wolves III' which was actually released in April, but they're throwing music out so quickly that we can't even keep up with reviews. It could perhaps be noted that the effort used to think up album titles isn't quite as great, but what would you rather have? A list of decent album titles or an endless stream of new music?

We'll take the latter if that's OK with you, and 'Space Wolves III' might even be their best album yet; it's certainly the most consistent. There are twelve songs here, and although they're not heavily orchestrated or have had a dozen experts in the studio perfecting the mix, they're a riot of colourful fun. Sure, some of these songs are a little on the short side (the aptly-titled 'Short and Simple' is just 12 seconds, 'Your [Live In] Girlfriend' takes about as long to type as it does to complete its 7 second duration). Without doing the maths, the tracks average out at just over two minutes or thereabouts, so they are concise, but with a string of melodies like this, part of the fun is skipping straight from one to the next. Perhaps you could compare this album to The Magnetic Fields' '69 Love Songs' in that respect. Either way, melodies aren't something Space Wolves struggle with. Not at all.

Some of these melodies and sounds may be borrowed but you don't really care. We haven't been able to find anything like a direct rip-off despite the familiarity of some songs. Perhaps it's just classic combinations of chords being used again. A few highlights? Well, the whole lot really, it's near impossible to split, but we'll give you a few starting points. The sped-up '50s pop melodies of 'Nobody (But You)'; 'Too Short' mines similar territory but again does it at a rate of knots; the grittier melodic guitar-pop of 'The Interstate; beautiful love song 'Never (Ever)'; wonderful indie/pop closing track 'Sleeping Pills and Beer'; all the other songs too. It's difficult not to love Space Wolves, their whole ethic, sound and attitude seem to be exceptional. You can stream a few songs below to get a feel if you're new to them, but really we'd advise skipping to the download link. Not only is this album a great record, it's also totally free.

Space Wolves' website

Stream or download the album

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