reviewed by Kaitlin Ruether
When life becomes chaotic, sometimes the best thing you can do is embrace the snarl. Turn up the music, let it fill you from toes to top, and close your eyes. This is how I felt the first time I listened to The Wolfe’s Strange Words. The power is invigorating; the lingering chords are a constant. There is a bittersweet interiority to the songwriting that keeps it tethered to reality, though barely. This is a record that is heavy and lofty at once — delayed guitars giving bounce to a world of lingering vocals and desire. Having drawn comparisons to Metric and U2, The Wolfe perch on the edge of punk aesthetic, but this Saskatchewan band paints with strong and firm strokes.
The first track on the EP, “Tip Of My Tongue”, opens with a deeply delayed guitar riff that drives the nightlife ambiance of the track. From there everything grows as the bass thrums and the vocals swing. It’s a highlight right off the bat and uses rawness to bring a sense of satisfying unravelling. The duet with RYLAN that occurs on “The Artist” is another highlight and is perfectly placed on the record. This slowed down meandering is sweeter and more mellow, though no less dark. It’s a slow haunting moving at the speed of romance, and it opens the album for a big conclusion: the melodic and hefty “Pig & The Hound”.
While it may be the guitars and vocals that immediately declare their presence, it is the percussion on “You’re So Boring” that makes the track. Rhythm acts as a dose of fun in more than one instance, keeping Strange Words fresh as it explores where shoegaze meets pop meets punk. So turn it up, let go of yourself, and let The Wolfe blend genres and evoke moodiness until you forget your own worries.
Top Tracks: “Tip Of My Tongue”; “The Artist”
Rating: Strong Hoot (Good)