If Nirvana were a little tamer and from Newcastle they’d probably sound a lot like Dead Like Wolves. Whether or not that’s a positive is anyone’s guess but there is something distinctly Cobain about this Northern three-piece. This, their debut, was produced in a bedroom over the course of a year, and ‘Melancholia’ seemingly represents the majority of the band’s material to date. Again, the positives are debatable. At fifteen tracks long any band will struggle to avoid a few dud tracks and Dead Like Wolves are no exception.
The album starts strong with ‘I Nearly Lost Myself’, a rock and roll stomper that after an awkward intro details just what the band can do. Influences are on sleeves and the song catchy. If this opening track doesn’t do it for you, though, the rest of the album probably won’t either. From time to time things are mixed up and something unexpected comes to the fore, sometimes successfully (the super fuzz of ‘(The Higher You Rise) The Harder You Fall’) and sometimes not so (the questionable strings throughout the title track).
<a href=“http://deadlikewolves.bandcamp.com/album/melancholia” data-mce-href=“http://deadlikewolves.bandcamp.com/album/melancholia”>Melancholia by Dead Like Wolves</a>
Dead Like Wolves don’t break too many boundaries but then again they don’t need to – this is a raucous rock and rollalbum through the good and the not so good. Some people will like it, some people won’t, and everyone’s reasons will be different. I find the overt Nirvana influences a little too much sometimes, particularly in the vocals that rarely sound as though they’ve seen the North East of England, never mind lived there, but some will love it.
What Dead Like Wolves have done with ‘Melancholia’ is make it available for free, which helps me a lot. Personally, I’m not overly sold on this record, it’s all a little too familiar, with no real standout gems to counter what feels like filler towards the end. It’s a record worth a listen though – so check it out. If you like it, you’re on to a winner, if you don’t, add Dead Like Wolves to the list of bands you mindlessly skim past in iTunes. You can’t really lose.
‘Melancholia’ by Dead Like Wolves is out now.
Words by Tom Knott (@nounandthenouns)