Wolves Like Us

Late Love

Written by: AP on 19/11/2011 13:43:22

Once known exclusively for the infamies and controversies surrounding its influential black metal scene, Norway has become quite the hotbed for fresh and innovative rock music of late. On the crest of this wave is the much hyped Wolves Like Us, featuring former members of underground legends Amulet and JR Ewing, striving to prove that Norway can do post-hardcore just as well as corpse paint. The catch is that the band's debut album "Late Love" is not post-hardcore by any modern standard, but rather an appreciation of the genre's raw mid-90s sound when bands like Planes Mistaken For Stars were all the rage.

What that essentially translates to is a rough production mix, in which melodic notes are left to linger, bass lines are afforded a strong presence, and the drumming has a characteristic garage vibe; and an almost tuneless style of singing courtesy of Lars Kristensen. The approach is low key, yet unfolds a magnificent soundscape ripe with understated fury and genuine feelings - a far cry from the polished and superficial nature of what is considered post-hardcore today. Wolves Like Us are not afraid to incorporate a wide, and sometimes conflicting range of influences into their palette: the subtle pop elements and post-rock atmosphere of "Burns Like a Paper Rose" organically mingle with the rehearsal room hardcore of "Deathless", the revivalist screamo dirge of "Sin After Sin", and the droning southern sludge of "Old Dirty Paranoia", which is surprisingly similar to recent Mastodon.

Indeed, the diversity of just these first four songs is one of the defining aspects of "Late Love", who like At the Drive-in are content in writing music for their own sake, without aspiring to belong to a particular scene. The inevitable byproduct of such an approach is that songs like "Secret Handshakes", "We Speak in Tongues" and "Gone to Dust" might feel too introspective at first to make a lasting impression, but across multiple listens one begins to notice the extent of emotion distilled into each note, clef and tone, and understand the furtive complexity of Wolves Like Us' sound. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the 8-minute conclusive piece "To Whore with Foreign Gods", which enlists the band's full arsenal, interweaving the majestic and divine with the crushing and heavy, whilst not forgetting the tangible sense of contemplation present across the rest of the album.

The incredible thing about "Late Love" is that it appeals to fans of desert rock, post-hardcore, post-metal, screamo and sludge alike. With a sound that is both imaginative and colorful, and discomforting and anarchic, the album provides a compulsive and enriching listen that deserves to reach a wide audience. Some listeners might find it too challenging an effort to digest at first, but the patient will surely be rewarded once the songs start to reveal their treasures.

8

Download: Burns Like a Paper Rose, Sin After Sin, Old Dirty Paranoia, Gone to Dust
For the fans of: Drive Like Jehu, Planes Mistaken For Stars, Quicksand
Listen: Facebook

Release date 13.09.2011
Prosthetic Records

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