WOLVON – Folds

Subroutine have put out some remarkable records this last 18 months or so. But this is certainly one of their best. A future classic. Enervating, intelligent, multidimensional and… most of all… Good Time rock.

http://www.subroutine.nl

I recently sat down with WOLVON to do an interview. During the course of our chat they told me they only have 8 new songs, all of which sit proudly on this record. And on reflection I like that; I like that fact a lot. Forget for a second the critical consensus idea that a band’s got to have millions of songs and ideas up their sleeve. No, this is all that WOLVON have, and they’re giving it to you. As is. This is the entirety of WOLVON at this point in time. And somehow knowing this further reinforces the solidity, the power of the statement they’ve made.

What they’ve made sounds like a tractor, like a piece of farmyard machinery after someone’s put blotter acid in its tank, put the key in the ignition and turned it on. A runaway tractor looking for the good life in the city.  Why? Well not? That’s’ what we all want isn’t it? Freedom to do what we want, to have a good time?

What you hear is what you get. From the opener, Sorry For the Delay, you will notice the way the crashing, screeching guitars and busy drumming is balanced against the steadiest, most unobtrusive of bass lines, the thread that often holds this garment together at the seams.

When I said it sounds like a renegade tank or tractor I don’t want you to think it’s too formidable a beast to truly love. Oh no.  Please, don’t think that. The songs are as poppy as hell, Being being, to all intents and purposes, a playground melody; albeit one that is drenched in delay and a whole lot of clever beats and polyrhythms. And Slow Death is almost elegiac. But it’s fair to say that this is a thumping, yowling good time record: full of Baroque sweeps and about turns (as explored on Unicorny), or ridiculous, dramatic sonic gestures worthy of a pissed up Shostakovich, or even Joe Meek.

And you know, with a bit of hindsight dreaming, I reckon this is something that would have sat proudly on the Blast First label back in ’88. You can imagine Gibby Haynes giving tracks like Hesitation Walls and Stagnant a spin.  It’s got a sort of Banana Splits goofiness; daft but powerful. And whilst tracks like Heliotropics don’t seem to want to hang out with anybody in particular, they are keen to make a point: not scared of being the joker in the pack. Hell’s teeth, given their “Ash Ra Tempel playing at being the Beatles” shtick, someone could design a pack of Tarot cards round this recording. Where’s Walter Wegmueller when you need him?

Not only that, it finishes on a crashing high with last track Future Truths revealing itself to be their best moment. A crashing and undulating trip: akin to a Viking longboat being lashed on the high seas, the crew grimly holding on whilst waiting to hit the shore. Or the same boat creeping silently up some river tributary full of menace and unseen intent.

Subroutine have put out some remarkable records this last 18 months or so. But this is certainly one of their best. A future classic. Enervating, intelligent, multidimensional and… most of all… Good Time rock.