We Are Wolves
These guys kick butt in at least three different languages — they come from Montreal, speak English, sing in badly-accented Spanish, and generate some sort of all-purpose North American patois. Their rocking tears thorough the stereo with a hot, wiry guitar, clockwork drumming, and a lead singer (Alexander Ortiz) who sounds like the late Lux Interior or an early Wire. They come out the gate with the powerful “Paloma,” a weird mixture of a Spanish love song interspersed with angst-filled punk anger slathered over a cheesy Farfisa keyboard. “Dream” takes a Meatloaf-flavored romance and mixes in some creepy teenage slasher flick imagery, all sung with a soaring vocal in a style that I can’t quite pin down, but recognize as a hybrid of The Dickies and Brittany Spears. “Reaching For the Sky” calms down vocally but provides a driving Krautrocking synth underscore, but the real kicker here is the brainworm melody of “Near Fear.” It starts out with some minimal G-string notes, but quickly builds to a dark powerpop ballad that makes you actually care about an indie band leader’s broken heart. If we still had a Top 40 in this digital age, this would be headed there. At a minimum, We Are Wolves are pure fun, and at their best they fuse enough rock and electric styles to find a new world to colonize. That may be the most pretentious thing I’ve ever said about a band, but this disc may actually stay in my permanent collection.
We Are Wolves: wearewolves.net