Release Date: Mar 24, 2017
Record label: Lower Floor Music
After an unexpected dalliance with Jack White's Third Man Records, Michigan's Wolf Eyes (the official kings of trip metal) kicked off their Lower Floor Music imprint with their 2017 full-length Undertow. Their previous effort, 2015's I Am a Problem: Mind in Pieces, featured a few songs with pounding drums and blazing guitars which suggested the group's take on droning psychedelic rock. Undertow is much less rhythmic, with the guitars and drums seeming less forceful, but it's still hypnotic and otherworldly enough to function as some sort of mutated psychedelia.
With Undertow, Michigan lifers Wolf Eyes turn in their best in a decade, scraping off past aural gunk to reveal an icy unease owing as much to Terje Rypdal and Ligeti as to their cornerstone industrial forebears. Reeds have become increasingly prominent, making good on their promise of "psychojazz." (www.wolfeyes.net) Author rating: 8/10 Name Required Email Required, will not be published URL Remember my personal information Notify me of follow-up comments? Please enter the word you see in the image below: There are no comments for this entry yet. .
"Time is what keeps everything from happening at once." So declared sci-fi grand poo-bah Ray Cummings in his 1921 short story " The Time Professor ," 76 years before the inception of Wolf Eyes, his theorem's greatest challengers in music. The clock has long since become subservient to the Detroit trio, at least aesthetically. However prominent a role it may appear to play--monumental song lengths, alternating moments of eerie calm and explosive fury that seem to stretch on for eternity--time's ultimately rendered obsolete under Wolf Eyes' crushing gravity.
A new Wolf Eyes album is always cause for celebration. Not just because the trio of Nate Young, John Olson and Jim Baljo can usually be relied on to deliver the goods, but also because Wolf Eyes' continuing existence and tendency for prolificacy is a welcome reminder that experimental bands can still carve out 20-year-careers even in the current musical landscape. Not, of course, that everything in a discography as massive as Wolf Eyes' will be to everyone's taste.
Though they once had a reputation as fist-pumping ringleaders of a raucous noise scene, Wolf Eyes have always been a pretty serious band. That's become more obvious recently. Their last few albums have tackled hard subjects and fraught emotions with a frequently somber tone. Musically, that tone manifests in minimal sounds doled out gradually with heavy atmospheres.
Your favourite voraciously prolific cottage industry of errant noise art reveals its latest fugitive deformity. Now comprised of founding member Nate Young, John 'Inzane' Olson and Jim Baljo, though prone to contributions from former cohorts Aaron Dilloway and Mike Connelly, the Wolf Eyes troupe find themselves in a privileged position after 2015's I Am A Problem: Mind In Pieces. A record that tore into a barrelling cement mixer scuzz that, in its brutal, mind-rinsing rotation, felt like an abject alliance between dub, metal, psych, hardcore and avant-jazz, ending up appearing on, of all places, Jack White's Third Man Records.