After five years since ‘Damned’, the Swedes deliver.
Operating since 1995, Wolfbrigade (originally named Wolfpack) deliver crust punk that feels like a boot in the balls.
Don’t believe me? Check out albums such as ‘In Darkness You Feel No Regrets’ and ‘Allday Hell.’ Face melting doesn’t begin to describe them.
And their influence on the likes of Trap Them, Tragedy, Instinct of Survival and Centuries speaks for itself.
Quite a reputation to live up to, and I am delighted to report that ‘Run With the Hunted’ carries on this fine tradition of quality records.
‘Nomad Pack’ is a predictable, yet stimulating opener. Going straight for the jugular, it’s melodic (for the genre) d-beat thunders along in sturdy fashion. The little Entombed-esque guitar line that runs throughout lifts the song into more stately territory (as opposed to territory already occupied by fifty million non descript d-beat clones with no passion).
‘Warsaw Speedwolf’ (great title) gives the listener an exciting (and slightly Instinct of Survival influenced) rush of hardcore. The more melodic elements give the song a kind of epic/windswept feel.
‘Lucid Monomania’ is the obligatory song that comes from that place where the sound of Discharge and Motorhead blend into one, giving us a tune that sounds pissed off as well as filthy, and has a drum intro that just invites you to start a circle pit in your flat. Vocalist Micke really comes to the fore here with his hoarse, guttural voice. It’s what expected, but it’s done with conviction.
‘Feral Blood’ begins and ends with a very Slayer type intro, which highlights the groove between the rhythm section and is more notable whenever the song begins to venture into familiar territory.
In fact. if you only take one thing away after listening to this album, it should be the playing between the individual musicians. The tight interplay between guitar, bass and drums are what elevate Wolfbrigade above the average bunch of crusties. That, and the anthemic songwriting.
Meat + Potatoes
Lyrically, it’s a record full of bleak imagery but without a specific political point of view. This was something that drummer Dadde once talked about in an interview, where he said that “a lot of the times it’s more like poetry but there are always some kind of message as well, mainly about the fucked up world we live in. I feel I don’t want to write too obvious lyrics myself…”
This is an approach that has been criticised by those who lean more towards anarcho punk (where the lyrics are often more of a diatribe), feeling that this reduces punk/hardcore to merely “slamdancing music.” A foolhardy and blind sided approach, especially for those who like to make up their own minds about such matters.
And anyway, Discharge took the same approach. And no one slagged them off for it.
Put simply, there is no fucking about here and no leftfield turns. Just straight ahead hardcore punk. Meat and potatoes stuff sure, but sometimes you need to be reminded of the basic things that you love.
It can be summed up as “it’s a Wolfbrigade record, innit.”
3.5 / 5 - Christopher Owens ::: 16/04/17