Friday, October 18, 2013

Artist of the Day: Wolves and Wolves and Wolves and Wolves

It’s not often that I find great bands from around my area, but when I do, I latch on tightly. Barrow, from Greensboro, is one of my favorite local discoveries I’ve stumbled upon since living in North Carolina, but recently, Winston-Salem’s Wolves and Wolves and Wolves and Wolves (Wolves x4 from here on out) has definitely been giving them a run for their money. Growing up listening to bands like Hot Water Music and The Lawrence Arms, Wolves x4’s classic melodic punk style with gruff vocals is the perfect nostalgic kick for an old time Orgcore fan like myself. With a recent full-length entitled Subtle Serpents under their belts and another seven-inch on the way, Wolves x4 certainly has a lot going on right now, so why not jump on board? 

Available for purchase on their Bandcamp, 2012’s Subtle Serpents was, ironically enough, not at all meant to be released in 2012. In fact, most of the album was more or less written by 2010, but it took Wolves x4 four different tries at five different studios to finally record a product that met their standards. Between poor producers, bad mixing, member changes and pretty much anything else that could go wrong, Wolves x4 was the little band that could—never giving up and always pushing forward—and in December of last year, Subtle Serpents finally dropped to an eager local audience.

All was right with the world, and everyone immediately noticed vocalist Brian Woodall’s insanely scratchy, but equally appealing voice that drives much of the music on the album. As he screams of “The subtle serpent’s stare” on opening track, “Serpents,” you can’t help but feel the power behind this criminally undiscovered band. The drums and lead guitar lock in perfectly following the first chorus, demonstrating that Wolves x4 isn’t going to take the easy way out with their songs like so many other bands would. In other tracks, the rhythm section shines, like in “Black Drink Singer” with the bassist’s strong, punchy hits playing under an extremely catchy guitar riff, or in “Strike the Match,” where the intricate drumming during the heavy bridge creates both an interesting and memorable contrast.

Being friends with the band certainly has its perks, as I’ve already heard the as-of-now unreleased songs from the seven-inch, but even though there are still a few months to go before its release, I can absolutely guarantee that you’re in for a treat. The sound of Wolves x4 recalls so many great eras of punk rock, like when the Warped Tour used to have actual punk bands on it, or when NOFX used to give more than 60 percent every night, which is precisely why Wolves x4 deserves to be heard. Straight up, no bullshit melodic punk still sounds just as good as it did ten years ago, so why not keep listening? Wolves x4 has talent and greatness and punk cred and beards. What more could you want?


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