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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 215 - 03/16/14

Wolves Like Us
Black Soul Choir
Prosthetic Records

Oslo's Wolves Like Us is a quartet operating on the dark, loud rock side. "Someone called us Dark Rock once, and that's not very far from the truth." The pack of wolves are Lars Kristensen (vocals, guitar), Espen Helvig (guitar), Torgeir Kjeldaas (bass), and Jonas Thire (drums), and the band count ex-members from Amulet (Thire), Infidels Forever (Helvig, Kristensen, and Kjeldaas), JR Ewing (Thire), and Silver (Thire), which sums up a hard-knocking past. Black Soul Choir is their second album, following Late Love (2011 Prosthetic Records). Their mission is clear: "We are here to make the urgent, powerful new music that we love."

Wolves Like Us claim to draw inspiration and influences from artists such as Swervedriver, Hüsker Dü, Leatherface, Quicksand, Hot Water Music, and the Afghan Whigs. I also hear some of long since gone 1990s Minneapolis band Arcwelder now and then (check out "When Will We Ever Sleep"), but with a little less of the melodic touch Arcwelder had. The Wolves are a tight unit, and I guess that their songs fit better live, with an even more raw and enegetic approach and attitude. On record some of the songs pass by a bit on the anonymous side. That said, there's a lot of neat and cool guitar work in here, and the skate-rocker (hence the video) single "I Don't Need To Be Forgiven" is quite a catchy tune. Hey, here's even a decent ballad, "Lovescared".

The album closes with the massive, 7'38" long "Thanatos Wins Again". It's long and massive, yes, but to my ears the core of the song is too loose and vague. The better tracks of the album count: "Three Poisons", "When Will We Ever Sleep", the instrumental "A Wish of Fools", "Your Word is Law". The album's fair enough, but to be honest the record is sort of running idle speed.

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