“Science & Sorcery”

I have been waiting eagerly for this second album from Wolf & Cub, for almost a year. They released the single, “One To The Other” in May last year and promptly said on their MySpace that they were hoping a new album was going to be released by August. Seven months later and they have finally released the album. Was it worth the wait?

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Wolf & Cub - "Science & Sorcery"

Wolf & Cub - "Science & Sorcery"

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Wolf & Cub made an extraordinary debut album and I’m starting to think that this new album is just as extraordinary. While there isn’t a song with the quality of ‘Seeds of Doubt’ or ‘This Mess’, the album shows a band that has matured and also find themselves with a more focused vision.

One of the few criticisms of the first album, was the unutilised second drummer. Since the first album one of the drummers was replaced with a multi-instrumentalist drummer that also plays the saxophone, but what’s really surprising is what the saxophone adds to the band. It makes the band more Arabian sounding or a desert like band. The drumming is more focussed and when there are two drummers playing, there is a better and more intricate beat than what the band has previously played.

The opening track and current single from the album is ‘Seven Sevens’, it’s extremely psychotic, I think that’s the word for it. It feels like a song for trekking through the desert on the top of a camel, which has a lot to do with the direction the album cover designer took. I love the artwork, it captures the mood of the songs perfectly and creates a really memorable cover.

A lot of people have probably heard the first single ‘One To The Other’, if you haven’t, take a trip to their MySpace. It’s got a killer riff, and has more of a rock styling than a lot of their other work. The only downside is that I don’t think it fits into the album as well as it could, it’s a bit too different to the rest of the tracks.

The song that really makes the album make sense is, ‘Blood’ (wow, the second song of this name I’ve really enjoyed this year), it’s got a seemingly hidden saxophone part that doesn’t stand out and just enhances the sound of the guitar. At the spine of the track is the driving bass lick, it keeps the song at just the right pace to keep it interesting as well as holding the song together.

Thomas Mayhew (bassist) has made some of the best psychedelia styled bass licks in the past decade, maybe even more and without him the album would not have been what it is now.

It’s almost impossible to compare the band’s two albums, because they are so different in style and direction. But I’ll finish with this…

If you liked the psychedelia styled music from ‘Vessels’ (their first album), then you’ll like this album. If you liked the Pink Floyd-esque soundscapes from ‘Vessels’, then you may find youself feeling a little disappointed.

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~ by Michael Hodder on April 20, 2009.

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