Album Reviews

The Wolfmen – Modernity Killed Every Night

(Damaged Goods) UK release date: 25 August 2008

Right from the very beginning, from the stop-start drums of opening track Needle In The Camel’s Eye, there’s a warm familiarity about The Wolfmen that reminds you of a fine wine that’s been taking its time to mature.

With a garage punk rawness about them, wrapped up in a confident maturity, they’re a band who have burst forth perfectly formed for live shows in intimate venues that have so much more to offer than enormodome stadium blasters. After all, they’ve been there, done that.

The Wolfmen are Chris Constantinou and Marco Pirroni, late of Adam and the Ants, plus Preston Heyman, Daniel Strittmatter and Phil Harvey. In between, Pirroni and Constantinou have pursued many years of solo projects, coming back together three years ago to form a partnership that has seen them collaborate on TV and movie soundtracks, write music to score silent movies from the dawn of cinema and Alexander McQueen catwalk shows They’ve worked with Primal Scream and seen Two Eyes, a single with Bollywood star Daler Mehndi, spend weeks at number one on the BBC Asian Network.

Three years into this partnership, they’re ready to launch their debut album, and it consists of eleven songs that brim with experience, passion and the confidence of two men who know exactly what they’re doing and making exactly the music they want to.

At times, Modernity Killed Every Night sounds like a tribute to Nuggets era garage rock, Iggy-ish on track 3, Cecile, tipping into psychedelica towards the middle of the album on Up All Nighter and Better Days in particular. At others, and in fact on those as well, it could be from the post-punk/new wave days of the early 80s, or the new new wave of the Britpop revival, and yet it still sounds fresh and full of energy in the twenty first century, capable of holding its own with Strokes style guitars and the pop-punk energy of The Libertines.

Of course, this is because they’re partly taking back what they gave to the music industry in the first place. They have every right to take songs such as Buzz Me Kate and merge within them everything from summer of love guitars and percussion to nu rave swirls and the infectious come together riff of If You Talk To Me Like That. This is a song that could stand up against anything the young whipper snappers of today have to offer.

While those who’ve come to know them through their work with Daler Mehndi might at first be disappointed that there’s little eastern influence on the album, it’s a disappointment that will be short lived. This is a warm, energetic and superbly crafted album from a band that knows exactly how to make it all sound wonderfully effortless.

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