Hour Of The Wolf "Split" reviews
Fans of older skate videos featuring music from bands like Helmet or Unsane must be pretty pissed off that modern videos seem to lean more heavily on Warped Tour rock than the harsh grooves of yesteryear. Well gramps you're in luck. Hour of the Wolf and Lewd Acts have joined forces to give you 20 minutes of throw back tunes to play over the new school shit you're being fed these days. Hour kicks things off with three blasts of rugged skate thrash sure to incite you drain your swimming pool and make your own backyard ramp. Lewd Acts keeps the party going with their half of the split. Keeping things a little less melodic their mix of Black Flag and Motorhead riffing is sure to keep your happy ass skating until the keg runs dry. Just don't look for much emotional depth outside of the genuinely moving abuse tale “Broken Kids,” cause this split is like the old Poison line, “it ain't nothing but a good time.”
With a Stooges-like riff kicking off "Overload," Hour of the Wolf definitely make themselves known on this split EP with Lewd Acts. Everything about this band is interesting; the guitars courtesy of Addison and Hank and most especially, the vocals of Lance, which bring to mind old Bronx. Their tracks were produced with a surprisingly good coat by Bob Hoag, sometime keyboardist of the Ataris. Second track "War Machine" tries too hard to be the Bronx, but it still works, only to a lesser extent. This band definitely has got everything down and tight and it wouldn't surprise me if we ended up hearing much more from them in the future.
Lewd Acts kicks their portion off with "Broken Kids," which sounds like what a lot of screamo bands try to shoot for but don't have the passion or energy to pull off. While at first I was less than impressed with the song, repeated listens give me a new look on not only the song, but the band as a whole. Lewd Acts' material was produced with a strange sense of urgency by Kurt Ballou of Converge. "Shark Bait" is a forty-five second blast which sounds out of place because it just goes by incredibly too fast but they make up for it with the last song, "Glass Act," which sounds like they've been doing they're homework and figuring out how they can adapt it to fit their style.
Overall, the split EP is very good with more points going to Hour of the Wolf for more originality but the only problem anyone might have with this record is its length: a mere 13 minutes. Of course, this may all just be a tease by the bands and the record company, having fans begging to hear more, which is a good ploy. A good introduction to two bands who definitely have more to say.
Hell yeah, this is what fast, pissed angry hardcore sounds like! And it's got a good rocking side to it as well. Each Hour Of the Wolf release sounds different to me, I don't know why. Each time they sound more and more like Motorhead and even more pissed. Not that I mind. I can fully get behind that. But that's what you get with those cats. Lewd Acts I've never heard before, but I'm happy to know that I now have because they bring something good to the table as well. They present a handful of nice short and fast songs that all have some great breakdowns. I know that sounds kind of corny to state in 2008, but these mosh-frenzies honestly don't sound like obligatory dancefloor cues. They seriously sound pissed and slightly out of the norm. Success! They have made hardcore not only interesting, but angry as fuck at the same time, no small feat these days.
Hour of the Wolf and Lewd Acts provide two very different takes on hardcore, but both are speedy and concise, making for a tight split EP.
Hour of the Wolf use their three songs to continue their brand of Misfits-inspired, rock'n'roll-tinged hardcore punk that follows in the footsteps of their 2007 EP, Waste Makes Waste. "Overload" will have you hollering along ("Another night, is over!"), while "War Machine" delivers craggy, aggressive verses and a melodic but still agitated chorus. They have a good, rambunctious attitude about them, and it helps to make for an effective Side A.
Sometimes I want to say Lewd Acts are like another metallic hardcore unit, Shipwreck (a.d.), and there are moments on here that definitely warrant the comparison (precisely a minute into "Broken Kids," where their mid-tempo swagger bears resemblance, and plenty of "Glass Act"). But unlike that band, Lewd Acts are a little more chaotic, not quite as heavy, and twice open with an accelerated tempo and then get dynamic on us with a slowed down bout of tension ("Broken Kids," "Jealous Sea"), a tactic that seems to work best with "Broken Kids."
This is a solid introduction to two lower-key acts in the modern hardcore spectrum who continue to develop their respective styles before dropping a full-length on us.
It wasn't that long ago that I caught a little tour featuring Hour of the Wolf, Lewd Acts, and Trash Talk. In fact, it was just last year. The bill was interesting as it mixed varying punk/hardcore styles - a little something for everyone – which is a welcome change to the one show-five bands-one sound norm. Two of those artists have teamed up here for a split release, complimenting each other's sounds quite well, despite their differences.
Hour of the Wolf follow-up on last year's sensational Waste Makes Waste with two new songs and an oldie. “Overload” strikes first and immediately brings to mind “Attitude”-styled Misfits. The music is fast-paced punk but there is also a sense of “pop” in its sound. “War Machine” is a leftover recording from a couple years back. I'm not sure what it is, but the song just seems out of place with what I've heard from them. It's a lot less punk and more hardcore, which for the band isn't what I was used to. Perhaps this is why it wasn't originally included on whatever release it was intended for. “Nothing Hits as Hard as the Abyss” is Hour of the Wolf's final offering; it's a nice fast metal meets punk jam calling to mind Lemmy and company.
2007 saw Lewd Acts release a discography, which for many was their first exposure. One calendar year later they're back with four new cuts. The band starts their side off with “Broken Kids.” Musically the song is a lot less hardcore than their previous output, in fact it almost sounds like an Hour of the Wolf song - rock-infused punk. Given the band's San Diego origins, this isn't that surprising. Unfortunately I wasn't really into it on that song but thankfully the band redeems themselves with “Jealous Sea” and “Shark Bait.” Both are metal-driven hardcore jams with some nice thrashy crunch and vicious yells. Closer “Glass Act” opens with an even-paced rock groove before segueing into a nice bridge section and launching into a ruckus-raising breakdown - definitely one of their best songs to date.
This split is a nice holdover while we wait for new full-lengths, which is really as much as you can ask from this type of recording. The Hour of the Wolf side was pretty much more of what I enjoy from the band while Lewd Acts hit good on three of four. I'm sure we'll be hearing from both of these bands again before years end.
Arizona's increasingly prolific HOUR OF THE WOLF are back with another release, this time, a seven song split with California's LEWD ACTS. The pairing is solid, as both bands take a different, yet compatible spin on grimy, fast-as-fuck punk rock. HOUR OF THE WOLF sound like MOTORHEAD being chased down a dark alley by a pack of foaming-at-the-mouth wild dogs. The 'WOLF particularly shine on the scuzzy, THE BRONX meets ROCKET FROM THE CRYPT tune, "Nothing Hits As Hard As The Abyss." LEWD ACTS has all of the subtlety as a trash compactor. The band's four songs are hardcore/punk with traces of doom ("Broken Kids"), a feel for bowel-bending momentum shifts ("Jealous Sea" and "Glass Act"), and an off-kilter streak that brings to mind Cali hardcore legends BATTALION OF SAINTS ("Shark Bait"). HOUR OF THE WOLF do nothing wrong on their end of the split, but LEWD ACTS simply pulverize the competition. Gimme, gimme, gimme more!
Prick Magazine / EvilNeedes.com
Very deserving of the coveted title "must have CD of the month," this seven song split packs more punch than most 14 song full lengths. Hour of the Wolf play fierce hardcore with just the slightest hint of later Misfits thrown in. The three songs presented on this disc are fast and harsh. The speedy delivery coupled with gritty vocals make for a killer combo. Lewd Acts is a tear-the-place-down, set it on fire, and piss out the flames band. They make good use of screaming chaos yet they keep it just concise enough to make it memorable. Keep these two bands on your radar. Look them up on myspace and go see them live.
Who? A split CD between Arizona rockers Hour Of The Wolf and chaotic San Diego residents Lewd Acts (who recorded their half with Kurt Ballou).
Sounds like? HOTW are more along the lines of The Bronx, whereas Lewd Acts sound like what Black Flag would probably play in 2008-melodic, heavy, fast, and progressive.
How is it? Lewd Acts' four songs easily win the day on this split, but HOTW's three contributions are no slouches, either.
Rocks like? The Bronx, Gallows, Black Flag
This is both as raw and fresh-sounding a split as you will come across this year, and it comes as no surprise that the most promising true punk/hardcore label around, Think Fast! Records, was keen enough to release it. This EP between two young and driven acts from the west coast, Hour Of The Wolf and Lewd Acts, packs more pleasant surprises than a still-functioning porn password. With the post-millenial 80's revival in hardcore having recently run its course, and 90's nostalgia only now beginning, an astute follower of the hardcore scene's recent evolution would predict that most young bands would be trying to take a stab at either of the two eras' styles. But these two sets of dudes fall into neither trap, instead concocting much more scarce hybrids of old punk and hardcore with a slight modern flair, enough to launch this already much talked-about split EP to the tops of many playlists, regardless of the listener's stylistic preference. Hour Of The Wolf breaks out of the gate with such classic punk rock attitude mixed with rock'n'roll swagger that you'd have to check out their Myspace profile photos to believe they haven't been doing this for 20+ years already. The guitars hum and stutter along dirtily but with such precision that it takes no more than one listen for these upbeat, blazing anthems to be embedded in your skull like a broken beer bottle. Once Hour Of The Wolf's side is done though, so are any feelings of joy or unity, as Lewd Acts rain on the parade as only a bunch of young kids who have seen way too much in their years can. Guitars careen along unpredictably but with a flow that suggests an impressive input of time into songwriting. Tempo shifts that cut fast parts into half-times mean this stuff will go over extremely well on the east coast, where it already did once earlier this year. And as the band's recent signing to Deathwish Inc. implies, we will be seeing much more of these dedicated kids of the core.
Think Fast! Records is a label that refuses to be pinned down, and this split EP between Hour Of The Wolf and Lewd Acts only further derails any efforts to do so. There are young bands who imitate a style, and then there are those who are inspired by one or more, and somewhere in the process end up creating their own. This split is a rare textbook example of the latter. These are honest kids playing from the heart, and every song melts out of the speakers like butter. Scary to think how far these bands will go provided they stay on track.
You'd have to have a stick wedged a bit too far up your ass to not enjoy what either Hour Of The Wolf or Lewd Acts bring to the table on this EP. Fans of true rock'n'roll, punk, and old hardcore will be spoiled by these songs. Unique and essential.