Like Wolves - Like Wolves [12-inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Like Wolves

Like Wolves [12-inch] (2011)


Rochester, New York's Like Wolves show considerable growth on their first full-length. It's a self-titled affair that takes slightly spastic hardcore punk and then adds liberal doses of '90s post-hardcore noise, garage bluster, darker hues and a nervous urgency for a uniquely corrosive and occasionally haunting sound.

Opener "Golden Year" starts with panic-stricken, off-kilter riffs, and frontman Ben Krueger alternately yelping his scratchy calls for cataclysms and melodically speaking in hushed, unsettling tones. While everything sounds loose and uncontrolled, it also feels like Like Wolves know precisely what they're doing. Lightly dissonant echoes in "Missionary" and "You Will Know Darkness" give more character to the album's aura, setting up an atmosphere of eerie wonder and delightful horror. This definitely works well when the band slow it down to a sinister, erratic groove, like with "Obsolete Vernacular" and its almost Jesus Lizard-style, noise-murmur moments, not to mention its totally awesome, chilling buildup toward its finish.

Comparisons aren't easy to come by, but there's definitely some frantic, John Reis-style angularity and confidence to the quick and urgent, all-over-the-place guitars. (You can definitely hear this in later tracks like "Green World" and the fraught "Live & Leave".) But when it creates a frenetic foundation alongside an otherwise bubbling, rhythmic undercurrent and Krueger's frustrated, cleanly caustic snarl, it gives the band an entirely fresh edge to what they do.

It's cool to see obscure bands improving and making it really worthy of getting some attention on them. The frenzied and relatively original hardcore pull on Like Wolves deserves such a spotlight.

Like Wolves