Wolves - 1969 | Album Review | By Volume

The kid that went down isn't dead; he just can't find his phone. The Hold Steady - Almost Everything



A furious blast from metalcore past.

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Author: on October 21, 2012
Never Lost
March 9, 2012

To those of us who came of age in the metalcore scene of the early ’00s, there is a certain unmistakable sound, almost like an aura or an energy, that when heard brings back a flood of a time when the scene was more than just a loose gathering of bands and kids and camo shorts. It was forward-thinking; bands like Botch, Breather Resist, Hopesfall, and skycamefalling all drew on different influences and emotions but elicited the same response of awe. Fast-forward a decade and things have devolved steadily since those halcyon days. There are still some bands hanging on to the dissonant fringes of the genre like Gaza, The Chariot, and Ken Mode, but in all reality it’s a fucking void. Thank your invisible deity for Los Angeles, California’s Wolves. Their latest EP 1969 cuts through the last several years of trends and breakdowns and proves to be one of the few current bright spots keeping the dying sun that is metalcore alive.

Clocking in at under fifteen minutes, 1969 delivers like a bathroom key bump of nostalgia. It instantly harkens back to when jagged riffing, atmosphere, and dissonance combined into an a perfect maelstrom of noise. Vocalist Joe Calixto cuts through the wall of sound like a Howitzer, delivering to the already steady onslaught. The perfect example of this can be found at the end of the record’s final track, “Benchmarks”, where his screams punch through a drop that’s heavier than a crate of lead. That’s not to say that 1969 is built upon the tired template of an ever-lowering low end. Guitarist Marlon Gonzalez nimbly traverses mid-era Every Time I Die riff territory with ease in between fits of Deadguy-esque histrionics and Cave In spaciness — filling a void in your music library that’s been missing since 2005.

Wolves’ 1969 is a thoroughly enjoyable listen, if only a short one. It melds a handful of classic sounds that have been almost entirely absent from the genre in recent years into a welcome, and much needed, revivalist attitude. It twists and turns on a dime but never strays too far out into the unknown, making it an exciting yet familiar experience for the former hardcore kids that are now jaded twenty-somethings.

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