Though it took a little time to persuade and move beyond the initial intrigue raised when accompanying it on its sonic distortions and abrasive touches at first, “RAR” the second album from Dead Wolf Club emerges as a release which has a character and caustic devilry which inspires a strong appetite to hear and feel more from the UK band and release. Forging a blend of noise and punk with searing melodic flames adding their acidic presence throughout, the twelve track release takes senses and thoughts on a sonically carved adventure which undulates more than you would wish but never has less than a firm grip and incendiary caress, often a maul, on the ears.
Consisting of John Othello, Martha Supajirawatananon, Alwin Fernandez, and Serra Petale, Dead Wolf Club have in “RAR” created an album which in their own words “is what you start seeing when you have been out in the snow for too long. Your mind makes up distortions of shapes and these can appear as monsters. These monsters are apparitions of the past and the future.” Set out to epitomise the economic and social struggles in the UK presently, lyrically it is acute and finely crafted, wordplay gleefully adding to the mystery and eclectic rub of the release as much as the sonically bred sounds, and though there are moments where things do not quite hit the promise continually wrapping the release it is an album that demands attention.
Opening track ‘The ABC of Being Stupid (Villains of the Night)’ scrubs the ear with a gentle but keen sonic wash of guitar as vocals equally make their resonance known, both raising their intensity as the song opens up. Once into its heart there is a great mix of reserved breath where rhythms roll out the framework with equally cooled vocals for the continually reappearing haze of sonic intent which blazes up. Caustic but with a shadowed beauty, the track is a strong start soon followed up by the hunger enthused likes of ‘Strange Letters’ and ‘A Versus E’. The first of the pair offers a haunting ambience alongside its slightly corrosive embrace for a Where The Skeletons Play and The Mae Shi like mix, the result a solid captivation which leads the senses into the eye of its inventive storm for a refreshing if blistering encounter. Its successor is another mesmeric lure with harsh edges, the heated guitar enticement laying out another unavoidable web of entrapment if less compelling than the previous songs.
‘Dance to the Conflict’ with its bass croon and dual female and male vocals is a punk temptation with elements of Au Pairs to its provocative sonic bruising and sets new levels for the release which the excellent ‘MBE (Matt’s Big Entrance)’ with its insatiable noise/punk siren like call elevates further. The Gaa Gaas meets The Victorian English Gentlemen’s Club in sound and again corrosive in method, the track is the best on the album and alone makes Dead Wolf Club a band to keep on the radar.
Though some of the following songs like ‘Go!!!’, ’Magic Ratio’, and ‘Guerrero’ fail to raise the same temperature of hunger, they still leave a wealth of satisfaction in their wake with others such as such as the exceptional ‘In the Clouds’ and ‘She Is God’ ensuring the album again finds its earlier heights. The first of the two is a tantalising melodic drenched piece of post punk with definite tendencies of The Cure lighting its seductive promise whilst the second has veins of The Pixies feeding its creative heart and is arguably the most memorable track on “RAR”, its touch vocally and musically a lingering instigator.
Certainly, “RAR” is an album which needs to be given time to make its plea but in the end convinces strongly whilst leaving a promise of the possibly of greater things to come. Maybe not destined to be your album of the year it will be one that does lures you back time and again.