Home > TheRest > Wolverine Brass – Wicked Witch

Wolverine Brass – Wicked Witch

Auxiliary Records, 2006

I suppose with a dollar one can find a reason to buy anything.  This particular record stood out not just because its cover art was pleasantly simple with brown hues, but also that they included the word ‘wolverine’ in their band name.  I had never heard of them and their song titles didn’t give me much of a clue what they sounded like, so I considered this a shot in the dark type of purchase.  Okay, yes, it had high risk for tossability, but so do half of my random pickups.

A group of four guys in the Kentucky area formed Wolverine Brass to make loud, pain-ridden music.  Or at least, I think it’s pain-based.  I couldn’t really tell because the duo of Billy Bisig and Stephen George trade off unintelligible vocals from song to song, sobased on their strong, scratchy tones I assume these guys are going through emotional issues.  Some songs just sound awful with this approach, like “Leviathan” and “Percolator”.  The former just gets too carried away with divergent sound and poor vocals whereas the latter not only is too slow at the beginning of the record but is lacking in a spark of interest.

Where the band actually excels are heavy-edged instrumentals, for “Wolverines of Ambient” is an excellent tune that harnesses the hardcore element while setting a mood.  It is apparent with this tune alone that these guys can play, even if they can’t sing.  “Outdated and Overrated” starts off as if it will be a debacle, but the band rebounds during the middle with a chorus that trickily combines raw volume with catchy riffs.  The third tune that I found to be promising is “Prayer”, which could actually be considered the prettiest hard rocker of the entire bunch.  This is not only due to the heavy and light dual guitar work on the chorus, but also to the fact that the vocalist decides to sing-speak the song at a middle tone.  I know this goes against their in-your-face mission, but the vocals sound much better when they’re not trying so hard to be anguished or vulnerable.  Apart from the instrumental, this is likely the best tune on the short record.

Check them out on MySpace if you want to have a listen:  Wolverine Brass

I have mixed feelings about this record.  This is due to the fact that I believe that half of it is noisy, confused junk whereas the other half has some good potential.  Since I don’t tend to listen to the screamy loud stuff all that often, I propose that those who enjoy a little more chaos in their rock to give this record a listen if they can find it.  Unfortunately, anyone who becomes a sudden fan of this group will be sorely disappointed that they were one and done with this record before moving on.  Reading some information from their MySpace page tells me that they have all been prone to hop around from band to band, so perhaps we will see these guys separately somewhere else soon.

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