If you recall my top albums of 2017 list (for those of you that read it), you’ll remember that Syd.31’s debut album, The Last Punks on Earth, was amongst the selection of my favourites. I praised the album for it’s blending of razor-sharp Aggrotech Industrial, gritty Punk, as well as the many other genres that were mashed in. It was a fun album with an original approach, that also sent a strong message. It’s been almost a year since the release of their debut, and they’re already presenting us with new music. This time, it’s in the form of their recently announced side-project, Kara and the Wolves. However, this is a very different beast.
Instead of Aggrotech or Industrial, the band have decided to move in a different direction with this project, taking their cues from Metal influences, with a tribal flair. The I am Wolf EP is laden with homages to Metal of the 90’s and Nu-Metal, amongst many others. If bands like White Zombie, Pantera or Korn are your kind of thing, this will be of huge interest to you. This time round, Kara Wolf takes lead vocal duties, and her growling vocals bring a harsh style that compliments the raw riffs and sounds that fill the EP.
Opening track “I am The Wolf” aptly opens up with the eerie distant howls of wolves, accompanied by a chugging riff. Tribal drum interludes help to break up the track, before continuing the frenetic pace. The chorus is very hard-hitting, and is bound to get crowds moshing to it. “It Only Hurts (When I Lie)” begins with with synths and distorted echoes, then progresses into more face melting riffs. The style of the track has a very Linkin Park vibe to it, containing some pretty catchy hooks and drum beats. The start of “Physical” slows down the pace and has a dark atmosphere, suddenly bursting into life with a wall of sound. It constantly switches between these elements, giving it an interesting dynamic. “Bruises” seems to change the pace quite a bit, the opening notes feeling very EBM, although the guitars that kick in ensure that the theme of the album is consistent. This feels a lot more like a traditional rock anthem, with perhaps a few grungy layers and interesting textures of electronic elements sneaking in at times. “Cruising” features probably the most aggressive vocal delivery on the EP, and is a great closing track. Reminding me of the likes of Rob Zombie, it features heavy guitars, and a very nice synth hook. It’s a pretty chaotic song!
It’s great to see bands evolve and try new things, and projects like this are an excellent way for them to express themselves in ways they otherwise wouldn’t. It’s clear to tell they’ve taken full advantage of the metal influences they’ve been inspired by, and it has worked in their favour. Whilst it’s not quite as experimental as Syd.31’s debut, it’s still an excellent experience, and is a pretty varied one, with each track having a unique element/feel to it. It’s a glorious homage to old-school metal anthems, and serves as a reminder to how great those days truly were. Yet at the same time, it’s a style that really suits them, and I am Wolf stands out in its own right.
Final Verdict: A project that is an excellent homage to the glory days of old-school metal. Catchy and aggressive, with a raw presentation, it’s bound to be a hit with any fan of the genre.
Purchase at Bandcamp: https://karaandthewolves.bandcamp.com/releases
I am The Wolf
It Only Hurts (When I Lie)