Hailing from Adelaide, Wolf & Cub have been making waves in the UK with an extensive touring schedule, and support slots for Wolfmother amongst others (what is it with the Wolf-theme names for Australian bands?) The four piece took the decision to record their debut album back home but transferred to Glasgow for Tony Doogan (Super Furries, Mogwai) to work his magic on the mixes. The result is a mesmerizing piece of art, one that stands out starkly amongst its contemporaries.
The albums sets the pace with a seven minute opening title track, which explodes out of your speakers, raw guitar feedback swirling into under currents of heavy bass, frontman Joel Byrne repeating his mantra ” How does it feel?”. Wolf & Cub string you up and rip into you, psychedelic progressive sounds merge with sweat-soaked rock, heavy bass lines that culminate with the heavily instrumental ‘Conundrum‘, which as the title suggests, seems to be the band working out their sounds in a powerball of a track.
With two drummers, the beats hammered out are thunderous in parts as they roll through the record. ‘Steal Their Gold‘ ups the anti, with user friendly parts that slip into insatiable instrumentals.”This Mess’ and ‘Rozalie Bizarre‘ both become a little repetitive, and Byrne’s high pitched vocals can grate on the nerves a little, but fleshed out with the fuzzy guitars and almost Kula Shaker-esque vibe, it works. Doogan’s mixes create a jagged edge, rough-around-the-edge dirty sound that really works for the band, and has created a debut album that twists and turns, rolling onwards, careering almost out of control until the final track ‘Vultures‘ clocks onto ‘cool down’ mode, and the listener’s allowed to relax, and sink into a track that brings the album to a shuddering halt. And……breathe.
If Wolf & Cub can recreate their studio sound live, then they’re going to the one to watch for 2007. ‘Vessels‘ takes us on a heart stopping journey, and lays down exciting promises for the future. These Australian upstarts turn tracks on their head and give a new progressive slant to Australian rock, and with a start like this, their future looks very bright indeed.