Tuesday, August 21, 2012

EP Review -Wolfshead - ' Wolfshead'

Location: Hampshire, UK

Track Listing: 1-   Warbringer
                     2-   The Garden
                     3- Pissin' Blood
                     4 - Death Priest

Wolfshead hail from the "the entertainment wasteland"  of North-East Hampshire in the UK, and play what they've coined as 'Garage-Doom', citing influences as disparate as High On Fire, Goatsnake, Red Fang and even cult Swedish garage rockers The Hellacopters. The band are also the second two piece we've featured in the past couple of days, the first of course being Nashville, TN garage rock supremos Bang Ok Bang.Glad to see that even despite the Ting Tings,  the days of the two piece aren't numbered just yet . . .

Wolfshead  itself , even with the duo kindly offering to fill in the blanks with a very detailed and at times quite amusing band bio on their Facebook page, is a hard enough beast to pin down stylistically.On opener 'Warbringer' , the band come storming out of the traps, with lyrics invoking that very metal of concepts,the timeless 'riding into battle, possibly on some sort of iron horse etc'  school of lyrical content.It's an infectious slice of doom-tinged,  balls out  heavy metal , and a wise choice of track to lead with. 'The Garden' however brings us crashing back down to earth(and possibly below), a subterranean doom dirge, with some very Tom G Warrior-esque death grunts underpinned by a riff that Cathedral circa 'Endtyme' would be proud of indeed.

The style shifts drastically again for 'Pissin' Blood' , a raucous doom n' roll number that puts one in mind of Uprising- era Entombed, before the two go all The Obsessed on us with final track 'Death Priest' , the pained vocals and restrained riffing recalling Wino and co in full flight , which, if you've any fucking taste at all, is always a good thing.

In truth, there is very little to dislike about Wolfshead.Some may take umbrage at the band's clear magpie tendencies with their various influences, poaching as they do a riff here, a drum roll there from some of heavy music's finest over the last thirty years.The EP also takes a couple of spins to get into, or at least that was my personal experience, however it's one worth persevering with for a few listens, a real grower , as all the best records are really.But all in all these are four solid  heavy rock numbers that have one salivating at the thought of what these two mad professors might concoct on a full-length.The band also score extra points for their excellently designed digital booklet(with real life liner notes kids!) , which , although basically a pretty looking PDF file, is a lovely touch, and betrays the band's clear love of all things old-school.

Verdict: Glue-sniffing, stripped down riff heaven.

For fans of: The Obsessed, Red Fang, Cathedral, Wizards Of Firetop Mountain, Entombed, Motorhead
Listen here: http://bandcamp.listentowolfshead.com/

Stephen O ' Connor

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