Sunday 23 February 2014

The Wolfhounds - Anthem/Middle-Aged Freak

Single review by

The reformation of original C86 group The Wolfhounds may not have got the same amount of press as those of Fleetwood Mac or The Stone Roses or whoever, but then you wouldn't expect it to. Until a few years ago, hardly anyone really mentioned the C86 tape or knew what it was. Even now people reference it without really understanding the music that was contained therein. Maybe they should try actually listening to it; it wasn't all sugary, jangly indie at all, much of it was far rougher noise-pop. This year is set to see that celebrated compilation reissued with extra material, so it would be a good time for the Londoners to cash-in, but there's little chance of them doing that. Such a notion doesn't seem to be in their DNA. This double A-side single is their third since regrouping and follows 'Cheer Up' and 'Divide And Fall'.

What really signals the fact that no nostalgic milking of the cash-cow will be done is the fact that the more "indie" sound of those releases has been replaced by something with a weightier tone and a bigger, harder sound. 'Anthem' is classic alt-rock; it could even have come from the grunge era. So much for jangly guitars, this one crunches and chugs from start to finish with a nice chorus appearing like a beam of light through the darkness. They're not afraid of experimenting with their music either, and the instrumental section does just that. On 'Middle-Aged Freak', they do take a trip back to the past though, but it's not to 1986. This track evokes the spirit of 1977 more than anything else: this is punk. A skewed intro soon smashes into a simple chord sequence, thrashing drums and a high tempo with lyrics being spat out with the energy of a band of teenage upstarts (ironically slagging-off people who've hit middle-age...) who are in it for the sheer fun of being able to say you're in a band and have some good tunes, and really that's exactly what this kind of music should be all about.

The Wolfhounds' website

Buy the single

Catch them live:

Mar 22 INTERNATIONAL, Paris, France  
Mar 30 The Windmill, Brixton, London, United Kingdom  
Apr 25 Birmingham Popfest, The Cross, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Jun 14 229, London, United Kingdom

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