Release Date: Feb 24, 2014
Record label: Prosthetic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
With a pedigree of previous bands as strong as you're likely to find anywhere amidst the fjords, this Norwegian quartet's brand of heavy rock is meaty and muscular, whether it's galloping through the fury of "When Will We Ever Sleep" or ripping through the fierce dynamics of tracks such as the kinetic "Dig with Your Hands." Lyrical references to Charles Bukowski and Elizabeth Carter score egghead points, but the real smarts are in the taut and tight delivery of the 10 tracks. GARY GRAFF .
Review Summary: The Norwegian quartet adroitly integrate post-hardcore with tenebrous atmospherics on their second album.Following a record that set out an impressive stall isn’t easy. Late Love was an invigorating debut that saw Oslo-based Wolves Like Us delving into dark post-hardcore with massive riffs, angular melodies and commendable tightness. It effectively revived the spirit of such acclaimed 1990s collectives as Quicksand and Drive Like Jehu, ditching the trends that have subverted the genre in the last 15 years.
While the more uninitiated might associate the heavier end of Norway’s music scene with church burnings and corpse paint, there has been something of a revival in more ‘mainstream’ Norwegian rock of late. Led by owl-toting nutters Kvelertak, a fresh crop of bands have started turning heads in the direction of the land of the midnight sun and now Oslo’s Wolves Like Us are back with their second full length to plunder and pillage your ears like Vikings storming Lindisfarne. Indeed, with a pedigree honed playing with the likes of angular hardcore merchants J R Ewing and an impressive debut already under their belts, the commanding thwack of ‘Black Soul Choir’ is, it’s fair to say, not entirely unexpected.
At its very best, ‘Black Soul Choir’, the second album from Oslo quartet Wolves Like Us, is competent enough – an amalgam of aggressive post-hardcore and metallic grunge that occasionally finds its way to a meaty-sounding groove (‘Dig With Your Hands’). Sadly, the Norwegians promptly undo much of their good work by interspersing the bombastic rocking with acoustic cobblers like ‘Lovescared’ and the sort of excessive, pompous emoting that even Pearl Jam tend to avoid these days. A couple of years back, it seemed like every third band had ‘Wolf’ in their name.
Norway's Wolves Like Us are the very definition of a slow-burner. There's nothing immediate about their sound, and it takes a long time to really get them. The trouble is, their sound is such a prickly one—most people probably never thought they would want a band to sound like a mix between Deftones and Planes Mistaken For Stars, but that's what this Wolves Like Us do, and they do it with so much heart and soul that it's impossible to not get caught up in the great Quicksand groove of it all.