Dyrewolf - Dyrewolf

Dyrewolf cover
Admittedly, my knowledge of Manitoban heavy rock/metal leaves much to be desired. Aside from spotting the odd Propagandhi T-shirt amongst a (wacky) crowd back in college or fawning over Evil Survives’ killer “Die like a Samurai”, I’ve yet to musically sink my cuspids (i.e. canines) into Canada’s Easternmost Prairie province. Therefore, it’s a pleasantly conducive surprise to receive hails from Winnipeg’s Dyerwolf, an up-and-coming Blue Öyster Cult-&-Trooper-meets-twentieth century Orange Goblin crosshatched with the cheek and well, ballsier “cheek” (i.e. side) of Bachman Turner Overdrive kind of quinary formation which, on the heels of a token, anodyne titular instrumental, bumptiously flogs the highway, Jack Kerouac style, with “Back on the Road”, a wistful but no less gruff and rudely sashaying pentatonic humdinger sure to shake both ticks and permafrost off your grey/tawny-brown fur...
That said, by no means is D-Wolfe a proponent of the above latter’s cock-rockin’ sensibilities, or, for that matter, tepid and lame FM rock kowtowing; rather, the band sounds fresh, lively and organic, however stuck in the grip of self-actualization/realization. In other, discombobulating words, it’s evident, from widely diverging song flavors (i.e. the slapdash and “jam”-like 3,75 minute opener arduously clashing with said bass heavy, prong-y successor), along with a permeating “rough draft” sensation owing as much to the album’s grist-milling, abrasive production values as to its undeniably homey, lowbrow flair, this release represents a first-time amalgam(ation) of specific peers which valiantly strives to find its groove (or “niche”, but, in honor/celebration of feral wolves, prefer the former as this peculiar term skirts French slang for “dog house”, as in “A la niche, Fido!”).
Instead, early bebop-ing highlights such as as the rough-and-tumble far-out pummel-er, “Heretic”, or waltzing, “herkimer-jerkimer” brow-beater, “Silver Spoon” slyly hint of Dyrewolf’s emerging sound, and while it’s true the outfit still has a ways to go in terms of vision and hard-boiled grit, its genuine, genial bent effortlessly induces many winsome returns. In fact, I adamantly dig the front wolfman’s nostalgic, off-kilter semantics; especially so on the first track proper (and aforementioned zinger), “Back on the Road”, where, to my wax-laden ears, he brings to mind “Trooper”’s (“we’re here for a) good-time-not-(a)-long-time” vocalist, Ra[mon] McGuire. Zowie!
Amounting to roughly two-thirds of an hour, the nine tracks lay between three and five minutes, except for the distinctively progressive, if not “doomily” up-beat, six minute long finale, “The Mountain Crumbles” (bonus points for employing such vividly onomatopoeic verbiage), incontestably a rather versatile selection in light of its choppy n’ curt main riff, boggling bass line and expressively cryptic, side-winding burst of full-circle leads. A defiantly strange outlier, however, consists of the haphazard and foppish “Greed of a Nation”, which imbues Dyrewolf proper with waggish, albeit welcome, eccentricity and kook (here and there, uniquely transcendent, not to mention gregariously bizarre, personages such as Buckethead mime their staunch, ketchup stained approval). Alternatively, the expansively shuffling and footloose “The Glory”, with its wicked “classic rock" style guitar solo (commencing three minutes in), is as toothsome – and postprandial – as any Cuban cigar or cognac following one’s bloody repast – that is, your choice of slain lamb, pork chop and/or tenderloin (not the fruity San Francisco variety, mind).
Recapping now, aside from the jazzier “Back on the Road” and “Silver Spoon”, as well as ruefully carnival-esque “Veto”, each cut appears to stroll independently of its own accord. Potentially, and except for “Dyrewolf” proper, every one of them can be pimped as a single. Ineluctably, this “singular” quality smacks of zealously auspicious (future) tidings. All in all, Dyrewolf should readily appeal to fans of eclectic boogie-ing fare such as Kaine, Orange Goblin, Mothership and Atomic Bitchwax, which says plenty about the band’s spirited, galaxy-brained inclinations! Wait no further – howl this up if and whenever you can (“dépêchez-vous”, though, as it’s [independently] limited to a privileged one thousand CDs).