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Wolf & Cub – Science and Sorcery (2009)

May 3, 2009


This is an album I have been waiting on for a very, very long time, It has been three years since the release of their debut album ‘Vessels’, and almost a year since the release of the single ‘One to the Other’, but finally April saw Wolf & Cub’s sophomore long-player ‘Science and Sorcery’ finally come out for all to hear. Produced by Bumblebeez’s Chris Colonna, it is a little different than what many have come to expect from the Adelaide quartet.

The album opens with the most recent single, Seven Sevens in which straight away, noticeable is Colonna’s influence on the music. It’s not one of those giant walls of sound many Wolf & Cub fans have come accustomed to, but a somewhat bouncy number, with a jungle beat maintained by quick, light drums and a bass line right in the front of the song, weird synthesizer sounds making their way in and out. Wolf & Cub’s music has always had this dance-able quality, but this song, representative of the whole album, seems to take it to a new level, at least for a psychedelic rock band.

Track number two and my personal favourite, What Are They Running, sounds like it’s influences are straight from the Amazon, with front man Joel Byrne’s here-and-there shouting echoing the yells of Mick Jagger in ‘Sympathy for the Devil’. One to the Other sort of steers back towards the other Wolf & Cub sound, with a loud, winding guitar riff and that psychedelic appeal they exhume to easily. Restless Sons is a spacious but noisy number, somewhat Portishead-esque, before falling into Hearts with 80’s synth melodies, while Blood brings out the sax with a sort punky attitude, reminiscent of the Wreckery.

There are clear influences flying in and out of this from all over the place. There are those long, tripped out guitar moments, matched with space-invader synthesizer sounds and jungley beats you can claps and dance to. The lyrics on ‘Science and Sorcery’ aren’t anything special, just sort of their to fill a gap, but musically the album is great, lots of fun. To be honest, I wasn’t too blown away on my first couple of listens through, but it grew, each listen revealing bits and pieces in the songs I didn’t notice the first time around. I’m not sure if older Wolf & Cub fans will take to this album right off the bat, but give it a chance and you will love it soon enough. I can only begin to imagine how they will sound live.

Wolf & Cub MySpace

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