Archive for the Wolf Eyes Category

Demons – Evocation (No Fun Productions) 2007

Posted in Music, noise, Wolf Eyes with tags , on May 29, 2011 by noisenoisenoise

Demons are a duo of Wolf Eye’s Nate Young and noise dude Steve Kearny. I have had his post sitting in draft form for well over  a year. It is an awesome record and straddles that line between noise, midwestern decay, dark ambient and drone. It wasn’t until I read an old review by Bruce Russell who wrote that he wished that all black metal sounded like Evocation that it all started to click for me. I don’t like a lot of Bruce’s writing but that was right on point and Evocation sits nicely with the more difficult hauntology records that I have fallen head over heals for this year.

You see I have this difficult relationship with black metal. I love the idea of it but most of I have heard gives me the  giggles. I just can’t take it seriously. Mike Connelly, a fellow Wolf Eyes alum, has spoken about the real terror he felt was seeing the isolated farm-house in the Kentucky country side at night. I think his point is that  the true terror and fear isn’t getting eviscerated, it is the feeling that something terrible is near.  That is true horror. Not the cartoon darkness of much of what black metal pumps out. The records I’ve heard this year that have made me happy are those  by  Black Mountain Transmitter, Menche and Coultis and Failing Lights (on Evol’s recommendation) and if those records have worked for you like they have for me then it is well worth tracking this down. The four tracks on display here are all creepy wonderful non-music offerings. An embrace of the supernatural and unexplainable. An evocative excursion into darkness. Russell is right. If all black metal sounded like this the world would be a better place. Nothing to laugh about here.

Wolf Eyes / Prurient – The Warriors (Hospital Productions) 2006

Posted in Music, noise, Prurient, Wolf Eyes with tags , , , on January 1, 2011 by noisenoisenoise

This is sadly out of print but readily available if you stalk Discogs. When I first experimented with leftfield non-music the idea of subjecting myself to another Wolf Eyes record after my experience with Burned Mind was a remote possibility at best. But as the years have trickled by and my ears have tuned in properly, a Wolf Eyes record is an exciting prospect. From the outset I should mention that this is not a collaboration. Wolf Eyes do the first two tracks and Prurient has  the final eleven. I’m not entirely sure what the point of that is except perhaps a financial collaboration for the band. Initially on buying this I was a bit disappointed because I was keen to hear  a pure collaboration like Prurient’s work with Kevin Drumm to Wolf Eyes work with Black Dice. But when I approached it as two separate EP’s from giants of the noise scene it became a lot more fun. The two Wolf Eyes tracks explore the creepier more minimal side of the band rather than the horror death disco of Burned Mind. They are great – brooding horror- capes of unsettling intensity. The eleven Prurient tracks rank among his best. High pitched scree and industrial clang moves into those distortion laden dark ambient passages found on Black Post Society. Quality stuff. This morning is New Years Day and after a night of being subject to a great deal of U2 and Powderfinger I’m probably enjoying this a little too much.

Wolf Eyes – Wolf Eyes (Bulb) 2000

Posted in Music, noise, Wolf Eyes with tags , , on July 21, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

When I was a wee tacker my older sister was given one of those Casio keyboards with the  inbuilt drum machine. Oddly enough I suspect that the boys from Wolf Eyes grew up with something very similar. That drum machine is everywhere on Wolf Eyes first proper release and if you thought you’d get something approaching Burned Mind’s horrific death disco this will be a puzzling and somewhat amusing listen. For all of the noise records I’ve accumulated in the last couple of years I’ve only got five Wolf Eyes records in total. When I listened to those  records I was always puzzled by the constant media comparisons between ThrobbingGristle and Wolf Eyes. At last I can see the connection because Wolf Eyes is not a harsh noise record and the horror noise of their later incarnations is nowhere to be heard but the expansive and slightly daggy experimentation of TG is all present. If you were to hear this is an invisible jukebox situation then I reckon anyone who was more familiar with the later Wolf Eyes records would draw a blank on this one. If you can get over those hurdles, Wolf Eyes is a pretty good  if very odd listen.

Wolf Eyes – Burned Mind (Sub Pop) 2004

Posted in Music, noise, Wolf Eyes with tags , on April 2, 2010 by noisenoisenoise

This was my first encounter with noise and I would guess that this might be true for many other noise nerds. Burned Mind may have been the strangest thing ever released by Sub Pop and around the time I bought this in 2004 I would go to  my local record store and buy the latest releases from labels I knew. This one blew me way. I was a bit bored by music around this time and was even dabbling with alt-country in an attempt to find something new. I certainly fucking found it on Burned Mind. When I first listened to it I had no idea what it was. It sounded like the most brutal thing on Earth – waves of nauseating pulses and unrelenting, terrifying noise. Time has luckily moved on and when I listen to Burned Mind now it almost seems like a party record compared to some of the other stuff I’ve encountered over the intervening years. Sure that party may be the most evil party I’d ever  go to, and there is no certainty that I would actually come out alive, and if I did probably with the loss of a limb or something – but I suppose what I’m trying to say is that it is a strangely accessible record. Maybe the reason for that is that what anchors most of the tracks are fat distorted beats and a phrasing which recalls early Swans material. I don’t own a huge amount of Wolf Eyes but I think this is still my favourite record. If you can’t get into this then the US version of noise may not be your thing.

Aaron Dilloway – Boggs Vol. Two (Hanson) 2005

Posted in Aaron Dilloway, Music, noise, Wolf Eyes with tags , , , on August 31, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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The focus of this blog had been firmly on Merzbow and to a lesser extent The Dead C, which is kind of unintentional because I really love the whole US noise scene and I don’t think I’ve done enough to draw some really good records to your attention. One of the best noise records I own is Boggs Volume Two. You see one of the problems with being an obsessive compulsive record  buyer is that sometimes I forget to listen for simple enjoyment rather than consuming the latest thing I’ve bought and then moving on. Part of the reason is the quest to keep this blog as current as I can but I’ve decided to have a record buying moratorium for a couple of weeks and concentrate on those records that got me hooked on the whole noise thing in the first place. I mean, that is the reason I started this shitty blog after all.

Given his tenure as a one time Wolf Eyes member it would be easy to assume a continuation of the skull-fuck, death-disco of his former band. What Dilloway actually produces is a more sublime form of noise which is less sheer noise terror and more explorations in sound and texture. More Giffoni and less Hair Police if that means anything to you. Dilloway steps away from the terror and brutality of the scene around him and embraced space and light. The four tracks here are constantly changing. Like Wiese yet more muscular and less fussy. The first two tracks are  Dilloway embraces tape experiments, glitch, harsh noise,  walls of distortion, frequency abuse and loops. This might sound really dumb but the sound on Boggs is really tactile. Boggs  is a real noise nerd’s wet dream, especially the first two Seizure tracks . You can pick up this really cheaply on ebay and Amazon and I urge you to do so because your record collection will suck without this. No shit.

Wolf Eyes – Always Wrong (Hospital) 2009

Posted in Music, noise, Wolf Eyes on August 15, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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For some reason Wolf Eyes have left the Sub Pop stable to release their follow-up to Human Animal on Prurient’s Hospital productions label. I had no idea this was even out had it not been for Evolkween posting on it a couple of months back. It arrived last week along with my copy of John Wiese’s Teenage Hallucination from RRRecords in Massachusetts. Ron the founder of RRRecords has a long history in the noise underground and his website offers some of the cheapest noise records you’ll ever find. Even with postage those two records cost me like $16.00 Australian each which is just fucking amazing considering my local rip-off indie store is charging $35 for the new Nurse With Wound record.

Anyway back to Wolf Eyes. Although I’ve never posted on Human Animal, their previous “proper” album” was absolutely killer stuff. It was a creepy departure from the horrific, death-disco of Burned Mind. On Always Wrong the band take yet another step to the right. Nate Young sings almost to a point where you can understand the lyrics, but kind of like a drunk sailor with a mouth full of broken teeth. Instead of the music creating a wall of impenetrable noise, the tracks lurch around whilst being pummeled with dissonant percussion, the odd shriek from Olsen’s saxophone and a myriad of other noise effects. Wolf Eyes are at the more tactile end of noise. More Hair Police or Mouthus than Merzbow or John Wiese. Less faceless laptop  surgeon and more rock band with a case of the bubonic plague. This doesn’t have the immediacy of Human Animal but it still shows Wolf Eyes have lost none o their power

Sword Heaven – Entrance (Load ) 2007

Posted in Music, noise, Swans, Sword Heaven, Wolf Eyes on January 25, 2009 by noisenoisenoise

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Sometimes when I add the video’s from youtube to accompany these posts I am a bit conflicted. Some of the video’s show that, live a band can be a very different beast than what’s on the  record itself. A case in point is Shit and Shine. The joyous, collective drumfests that pepper youtube are not quite representative of their pretty humourless yet no less exciting recorded work. For this post on Sword Heaven the video I’ve added is, in my humble opinion, is spot on. What Sword Heaven produce is the sound of early Swans updated for the post Wolf Eye’s generation. Entrance is a bleak, repetitive noise/rock opus where light and sound are enveloped by a black hole of malevolence. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Swans early work. I’ve always found it terribly dull.  But Sword Heaven work for me in a way I thought it wouldn’t. Perhaps  its  because much of Entrance reminds me of the visceral death-disco of Wolf Eye’s seminal Village Oblivia or it may be because Sword Heaven slowly evolve their tracks and propel them forward in a way that makes them far more interesting than their early 1980’s kin. For a duo from Columbus, Ohio, Sword Heaven make a huge racket, creating repetitive, lurching noise and electronic fuckery that both suck the air out of the room yet remain just on the rock side of the rock/noise divide. Load have released some great records over the years and you should add Entrance to that list.  

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