Wolves Like Us - Late Love (Prosthetic)

Rather than wasting time huffing and puffing, these Wolves cut straight to the chase and blow your house down straight away.

Released Sep 12th, 2011 via Prosthetic / By Paul Robertson
Wolves Like Us - Late Love (Prosthetic) Charging from the speakers like their ravenous namesake, Wolves Like Us immediately call to mind the similarly rough, rawkin’ and raucous Planes Mistaken For Stars, along with a number of bands from the fertile yet often unappreciated post-grunge years, such as Paw, Shihad and, most noticeably, the long-forgotten For Love Not Lisa. Mix that sound with a healthy dose of early post-hardcore – Drive Like Jehu, Hot Water Music, Quicksand and fellow Scandinavians Fireside – add a pinch of the more rockin' side of the Foo Fighters, cover liberally with hair et voila! Wolves Like Us in a nutshell.

The Planes Mistaken For Stars mention is given further credence by the fact that Gared O'Donnell, former frontman for the sadly-no-longer-active rockers, sings backing vocals on opening track ‘Burns Like A Paper Rose’, and his rough and ready tones are a perfect fit for the desperation-laced sandpaper and bourbon-throated howl of front-wolf Larsh Kristensen.

Kristensen’s throaty feral snarl carries through into the sound and feel of the actual music itself, with two guitarists snapping at each others heels, peeling out dirty driving riffs and ringing angularities as though their very lives depended upon it, with a similarly urgent-sounding rock-solid rhythm section holding things down in the boiler room. These Wolves are lean, fierce and tight.

However, although their tone is an earthy one overall, Wolves Like Us still reach giddy heights on occasion, as those angular, chiming guitars stretch ever upwards into spacier territory, as occupied by mid-period Cave-In, during moments on tracks like ‘Sin After Sin’, ‘Secret Handshakes’ and the spacious, moody and occasionally vicious closer ‘To Whore With Foreign Gods’. A further nod to significant influences comes with the inclusion of a taut, punchy, driving cover of odd-soul-men-out-on-Sub-Pop The Afghan Whigs’ ‘My Enemy’ that does both Wolves Like Us and The Whigs a great service indeed.

Mention must also be made of the rather fabulous album cover by Justin ‘VBERKVLT’ Bartlett, a man usually known for his ghoulish disturbing monochrome covers for Black and Doom Metal bands. For Late Love he provides a haunting image of stylised spectral wolves flicking tongues that terminate in grasping hands at hearts suspended in the air that adds a touch of the strange and the ethereal to the album as a whole.
In Late Love, Wolves Like Us have provided a solid, gripping debut album that has dirt under its fingernails, whiskey and heartbreak on its breath and a head occasionally in the clouds and should be heard by anyone and everyone with a love for any of the afore-mentioned bands or, indeed, lovers of genuine, heartfelt rock. By the hair on your chinny-chin-chin, you’d best let them in.