Album Reviews

Wolf And Cub – Vessels

(4AD) UK release date: 2 April 2007

You know where you stand with a seal of quality. In the same way the Lion Mark lends eggs that extra gravitas, anything with the 4AD label’s logo on it is bound to provide you with an exciting musical experience.

Once the home of jangly college art rock, the 21st Century roster for 4AD seems to be rewriting the rule book. The critically acclaimed likes of TV On The Radio have a new stable mate in the form of these Aussie wonder boys.

The buzz on Wolf and Cub has been building slowly. The slightly dubious accolade of begin hailed as “Hot New Things” by the NME has thankfully been backed up by achieving “Ones To Watch” status amongst the rest of the music press. A supporting slot for Queens of The Stone Age has also boosted the profile of this band, as has reports of incendiary live performances.

Vessels is the sound of Kasabian meeting BRMC in the Pink Floyd section of a record store. At your first listen this might sound like your typical indie rock, but close inspection reveals shimmering guitars and a multitude of textured sounds.

The album’s incendiary title track explodes through your speakers screaming “FOR GOD’S SAKE PLAY ME LOUD” and things continue in a similar vein until the energetic instrumental Rozalia Biazrre. It says great things about a band’s musicianship when they feel brave enough to take on the difficult instrumental form.

The result is a cacophony of screaming guitars. They also perform another instrumental – the equally stunning Vulture’s Part 2 as a cool down coda at the end of the album.

The storm abates somewhat for the wonderfully atmospheric Hammond which recalls The Verve at their darkest. Then the seven and a half minute epic of Kingdom kicks off with brooding digeridooesqe noises and slowly adding to its brooding layers to create a wall of sheer sound.

There’s also more conventional treats on offer with the comparatively radio friendly Seed of Doubt and Steal Their Gold which is The Rapture’s House of Jealous Lovers much harder elder brother.

Whilst it might not reinvent the wheel, Vessels is a rewarding slice of indie rock with a pleasing amount of dark psycadelic twist. It’s certainly a heady brew and if they can recreate half of their studio sound live on stage then they seem to be one of the bands to catch live in 2007.

Wolf and Cub seem to enjoy sailing stormy waters and this vessel is anything but leaky. 4AD have done it again.

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Wolf And Cub – Vessels