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Written by Wolves - EP Review: Prologue

14 Nov 2018 // A review by Kris Raven

Firstly, let’s start by saying, Finally!

Written by Wolves have dropped their debut extended play Prologue and I imagine for the band and fans this has been a long time coming. After a huge string of singles since 2015, the Auckland five piece have given us an exciting collection of massive anthemic bangers.

Having been lucky to see the lads play on several occasions, Written by Wolves are easily one of NZ’s best live bands with international star quality, in performance, live production, sound, lights and best of course musically. They blend some of my favourite genres of music in a way that is unique to their sound. At the core it's Rock but it’s a party that the EDM kids can get in on as well with sweet electronic layers, lots of kick drum, bass drops and trippy electro waves. Then you add sweet metal and punk riffs, 80’s inspired guitar licks, some less than subtle but welcome Emo influence, a dash of post hardcore and wrap that in a sleek modern pop production sound that can lift the roof of stadiums. Written by Wolves are here.

Speaking of fat chunky riffs. Affirmation is the first track and is the perfect way to start. Hooky and solid, a massive smack to the senses. Michael Murphy’s vocals are like the welcoming, he’s delivering his state of the music address. The chorus drops in with the sing along, epic gang vocal chants, this song is made for the stage. The bridge to final chorus is the final call, drummer Karl Woodhams frantic kick drum into the double time chorus continues the song’s climb to the final climax of that beasty opening riff. The party is here.

2nd track Oxygen, was released during their tour with Devilskin. This song is out to destroy from the get-go. It reminds me a little of early 30 Seconds to Mars (that’s a good thing) and My Chem. The rhythm is punchy and Its set to super drive, with the Olly Lyons keys carrying the initial hook. Murphy’s vocals shine in this song, from soaring high notes to a phenomenal scream. The 2nd verse builds up with epic drum fills with more of the Wolves' chants that feature throughout. By the time we get to the bridge, the song takes a more metal approach and leads into a super dope breakdown courtesy of guitarists, Bahadoor Borhani and Davie Wong followed quickly with a tasty solo that reminds me of Adam D from Killswitch Engage. It's fun, frantic and metal!

3rd Track Time Bombs and Hurricanes was released in 2017 but it fits so well in the middle of these tracks. This song has a more pop sensibility about it, with the addition of percussive elements. Then “This place about to blow”! with a super bouncy chorus and lots of layered keys. There is a more keyboard and electronic focus than the previous tracks but that’s what gives the Wolves so much character, there is so many layers to find throughout. Multi-instrumentalist Olly Lyons is all over this one and once again Murphy’s vocals shine and soar and “I wouldn’t have it any other way”.

4th Track Starlight follows in a slightly similar vein to Time Bombs, but with a more rock edge. The chorus and intro deliver with bold, hooky guitar and half-time groove. I love the spoken word rap/beat break before it then suddenly drops into an Enter Shikari like breakdown with another rad lead break that has an 80's shredder vibe but with a modern metal feel.

And then it's already time for track 5!
Promise Me was released the same day as Prologue along with a very cool music video, performed by a male and female lead, interpretive dancing on a high-rise building. The lyrics are at the centre of the songs heart, “promise me that you will fight”. This song is hugely emotional, vocally and musically. The subject of suicide and mental illness has been taboo for far too long and its songs like this that highlight the subject as something to openly talk about, which is a huge move forward and a positive change. With so many losses in the music community, among young people and just in general, songs that sing about hope, love, and holding on are so important and you can feel the importance and desperation in the vocal delivery, telling you to not let go. The music compliments the message and vocals perfectly and highlights the cross genres that WBW do so well.

With that said, it's all over. The Wolves have delivered a genre bending, exciting and well produced collection of songs, that can cross over to many different ears. I look forward to the next chapter and what they have in store for us.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )
 

About Written by Wolves

Written By Wolves, are a progressive, new, rock band hailing from Auckland. All four members, Davie Wong, Karl Woodhams, Bahador Borhani and Michael Murphy (NZ Idol, 5star Fallout) have devoted their lives to Rock music, and it is out of this shared love for the genre that Written By Wolves was born. They are a band that have set out to do things slightly differently, to create music that is new, unique and perhaps pushes the boundaries of what is expected from the rock genre.

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Releases

Prologue
Year: 2018
Type: EP

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