The Wolfhounds - Untied Kingdom...or How to Come To Terms With Your Culture

by Steve Reynolds Rating:7 Release Date:2017-05-05

The Wolfhounds aren’t known as a band to lean on the bright-side of the musical conundrum.  Having originally formed in 1985 they retired in 1990 when Callahan went off and formed Moonshake.  However in 2005 the band reformed with Callahan and other original founding member Andy Golding.  This new album titled ‘Untied Kingdom…or how to come to terms with your culture’ is their sixth album in total and their first since 2014’s ‘Middle Aged Freaks’.  A band always on the cusp of any scenes or any new hipster trend, The Wolfhounds continue to be acerbic and unrepentant in venting their angers and disgust at the modern world, all encompassed by a love of C86 Indie and barking mad uncouth post punk angst.

The spoken word of opener ‘Apparition’ sets a downbeat serious tone for the album, Callahan’s dark and belligerent delivery tells a story of deception, lack of compassion and mistrust: “you had your chance little man, you had all the breaks a poor boy can….and I should never have trusted you…such was the wisdom passed down by his mother along with the keys to the estate”

A fractious urgent guitar greets on ‘Now I’m A Killer’ and with an opening lyric of: “I was a teacher, now I’m a killer…”. Callahan then paints a similar line but inserts builder and various other titles he sees fit to add in his spleen venting. An ode about how individual job roles are viewed when you’re on the outside looking in perhaps?

‘My Legendary Childhood’ lifts the gloom somewhat with a plethora of excitable horns and a soothing female vocal which takes away some of the bitterness of Callahan’s angsty storytelling of growing up.

The musicianship is certainly what you might call 'tight' on this album and with Chameleons like guitar on ‘Thanks’, with a sense of irony we’re told: “I should be grateful to be in employment for a few coins to slip into slots of enjoyable, yeah thank you for that opportunity, I wouldn’t want to be a liability”.  Another suitable riposte to this evil Tory government no doubt.  ‘Stupid Poor’ follows a similar lineage and how the working class and needy are viewed as a burden on society to those in power: “The stupid poor always want more, they’re coming for your tv…and no one’s keeping watch”.  All set to a driving background of gleaming power chords.

There’s a release of throbbing bass and tambourine on ‘Lucky Heather’ and a groove not befitting with the rest of the album. It swaggers and rolls and remains off kilter but still holds that typical Wolfhounds cynicism lyrically. ‘Fire In The Home’ has a sense of the Pop Group about it, a ringing jarred guitar prominent in the mix with Callahan taking a back seat here and letting his bandmates take centre stage for a smidgen of a moment. ‘The Comedians’ is an abundance of words, as there’s a race to cram as many in as possible with an attack on crap comedian jokes and the influences that it has on people's thought process.

Closer ‘Across The River Of Death’ beats a 7 minute heart.  It’s frenetic in appearance and the harshness of the guitars is brilliantly executed.

The Wolfhounds have made a good fist of using the highly charged powder keg which is the current world and not been afraid to be use it.  Callahan has a clever way with words and shouldn’t be underestimated in both his vitriol and black comedy delivery.  What with the resurrection of The Blue Aeroplanes and their first album in a decade it’s good to have another proper band prepared to challenge the boring norm of UK guitar rock.

Overall Rating (1)

5 out of 5 stars