Untied Kingdom (…or how to come to terms with your culture) Is Out October 14th Via Odd Box Records.
In 1986, NME released their now legendary C86 tape compilation. Lauded by some as the “beginning of indie music”, the fourth track on the album was one ‘Feeling So Strange Again’ by The Wolfhounds, an indie rock quartet from Romford, Havering, in England.
Fast forward thirty years and The Wolfhounds are on their second album since their reformation in 2005. Untied Kingdom (…or how to come to terms with your culture) is quite a far cry from the relatively carefree nature of their contribution to C86. This new album is at times a claustrophobic one that explores the desperation and insecurity of working life in the United Kingdom in 2016. Opener ‘Apparition’ is a perfect example of this. An a capella folk ballad, the track features field recordings of the sounds of a city while singer Dave Callahan bemoans the plight of the working man. Elsewhere tracks like ‘Now I’m A Killer’ and ‘The Stupid Poor’ sport angular riffs and economical structures to create a biting and forceful atmosphere, while there is also time for some restraint and reflection on ‘Oppositeland’.
The album is not devoid of sunshine and fun though as saxophone, provided by Terry Edwards (Gallon Drunk, P J Harvey), give tracks like ‘My Legendary Childhood’ a near ska vibe. Other guests on the record are keyboards by Rhodri Marsden (Scritti Politti), and vocals from Katherine M Whittaker (Evans the Death), Elin Grimstad (Je Suis Animal) and Astrud Steehouder (Paper Dollhouse). This music is fierce and wryly confrontational, but, vitally, it is not afraid of a pop hook either. A wonderful addition to an already stellar back catalog, The Wolfhounds sound like they’re only just getting started.
Stream the entire album below.
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