Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wolf Eyes - Human Animal

I'm so glad RC doesn't assign a point system to our record reviews, because any number placed on Human Animal would be a joke. As with every Wolf Eyes release, it stands alone, for better or worse.

What motivates Wolf Eyes' ever growing collection of industrial nightmares and torture-chamber soundtracks? Truthfully, I remain conflicted regarding that subject, and I think the noise making trio might like it that way. Unlike my need for a philosophy attached to Banksy's work, Wolf Eyes is successfully in their ambiguity. If anyone is laughing that I just called Wolf Eyes ambiguous, please hear me out.

Wolf Eyes' brand of noise is unmistakably brutal and vicious; however, below that initial layer, the noise allows for two paths of understanding. Either Wolf Eyes is embracing the nihilism and dirth of existence, or they are holding a mirror up to those trapped in the doldrums of life. An example of the latter is The Blood Brothers, who create a fierce sound with a hope for positive change, while a band like The Locust seem stuck in the median - slightly leaning towards the abyss. I can't assume Wolf Eyes is one thing or another; however, I can propose a thought. If Wolf Eyes' music was a campaign of hopelessness, why would they devote their lives to it, instead of just wasting away or pulling the trigger? With around 150 releases, they rank among the most prolific musicians of all time. That leads me to believe that Wolf Eyes have something they're desperately trying to tell the world - WAKE UP!

My journey through Human Animal:

1) "A Million Years" got me out of Burned Mind mode, and made me think back to earlier Wolf Eyes releases like Dread and even their Black Dice project. It's pretty sparse, but kept my attention the entire time.

2) "Lake of Roaches" is like a piston releasing a mountain of steam.

3) "Rationed Riot" is a perfectly named song, because it only hints at the impending doom found in the rest of this LP. There are a lot of squealing horns in this album, and they play a prominent role in this song.

4) "Human Animal" opens the gates to Hell. 15 minutes of subtlity, means Nate Young and co. have a lot of catching up to do, and they get right down to business. This title track brings back the Burned Mind aggression of "Stabbed in the Face."

5)"Rusted Mange"... um. Yikes.

6) "Leper War" gives the listener time to take a breath (for about 45 seconds), until the razor sharp static holds you hostage for the album's "single."

7) "The Driller" has a slow steady beat holding up the song, and a vocal "melody" that feels like it's trying to crawl out of vat of molasses.

8) "Noise Not Music" establishes that, if we know nothing else, Wolf Eyes "makes noise, not music." Ironically the song has more musical structure than any other on the LP.

So there it is, my journey and reflections through a pile of beautiful noise. Obviously, a lot of people will dismiss this record as pure, talentless garbage. While I don't blame their reactions, I can't deny what I hear. There is a pulse and arc running through Human Animal that is intentional and meticulously crafted. One reminder for those that doubt - Jackson Pollock.

[mp3] Wolf Eyes - Human Animal

bonus track:

[mp3] Wolf Eyes - Stabbed in the Face

Tiny Mix Tapes has a review up as well.


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