Australian garage rock. There’s no better way to describe Wolf & Cub’s debut record, Vessels, than that. It’s dirty, it’s fuzzed up and it’s full of foot tapping drums and riffs. It’s just a shame that sometimes it falls flat on it’s face. It’s not that this is a bad album, there’s some great tracks on here, it’s just that sometimes it fails to add up.
The opening riffs of the title track crunch and thunder through your speakers, bringing to mind the Von Bondies, the drums crash and batter away and all you can think is “Let the good times roll”. But as the song progresses it just feels as though something is missing. I’ve had this album for a number of months now and it doesn’t stand up to repeat listening. The production is too muddied, the riffs and the bang and crash approach to the rhythm section become too repetitive. However the instrumental Rozalia Bizarre has an infectious bass line which carries the song, the guitars squeal and turn, cutting a buzz like groove through your head. It’s great stuff. This is carried through to Hammond, an ode to the organ by the sounds of it, with the chords gently floating over a sea of guitars which sounds like something that could have come from Pink Floyd’s Meddle. These standout from the other tracks, something a bit different, proof that Wolf & Cub can develop their sound from the shock and awe tactics they’ve employed elsewhere. March of Clouds sounds like something from the Glam 70’s era with it’s Adam Ant drums and chiming guitars, but they just come off sounding like a glorified tribute act.
Having heard that these guys were hand picked by Josh Homme to support the Queens of The Stone Age is no surprise. They’d warm up the crowd a treat and their feedback drenched stomp would suit the crowd. However, the first rule of picking your support act is to ensure they don’t over shadow the main show. With Wolf & Cub there’s no chance of that.