Concert Review

REVIEW: Wolf Eyes w/ Eel & Möwer, 9/2/13

This past Labor Day, noise veterans Wolf Eyes dropped by Gooski’s Bar as part of their U.S. tour in support of  No Answer : Lower Floors, their newest full album (not counting their voluminous output of rare tapes and CDrs, some of which were on sale that night).

The night’s sequence of openers created an interesting transition for Wolf Eyes’ style of rhythmic, nearly hard-rock-grooved industrialism. Möwer’s barebones power-duo (a lone guitarist/vocalist and drummer), tore through a set of thrashy hardcore, equal parts d-beat punk and, as the name might suggest, Mötorhead-style speed metal. Eel, a five-piece collected from members of local bands Drug Lust, Ratface, and Free Clinic, was up next. They continued the trend of aggressive hardcore, but punctuated their attack with sections of more abstract cacophony, horror movie samples (including a very apt Texas Chain Saw Massacre intro), sparks from a power saw, and at one point, firecrackers thrown into the crowd.

Although, the material on the newest Wolf Eyes disc sounds relatively subdued (yet still menacing) compared to earlier releases (such as Burned Mind), the band’s live set this night emphasized the more aggressive and searing aspects of their sound. A doom-laden, creeping opener gave way to an up-tempo rager with a pounding tribal drum-machine beat. The rest of the set continued along these lines – hissing abstraction reined in by precise rhythms and lurching bass, overlaid with vocals both shrieked and spoken. The audience was in high spirits and displayed a rather idiosyncratic assortment of folks moshing and dancing (perhaps a testament to Wolf Eyes’ cross-scene appeal). Another highlight was the particularly powerful rendition of the new album’s lead single “Choking Flys”, which vocalist Nate Young introduced with his frustrations about the difficulty of said act.

Wolf Eyes will be hitting Europe later this month and then return to the U.S. for two more dates in Louisville and Chicago on the 28th and 29th. Head over to their website for the complete tour dates.

September 29 – Chicago @ The Owl
September 28 – Louisville @ Cropped Out
September 21 – Brussels @ Studio 58 Cafe
September 20 – Tilburg @ Incubate Festival
September 19 – Cologne @ Baustelle Kalk
September 18 – Pantin @ La Dynamo

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