Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hour Of The Wolf - Decompositions Vol. 1


Hour Of The Wolf
Decompositions Vol. 1
Think Fast! Records

Formed out of the ashes of hardcore/metalcore act Life In Pictures (Who in their six year existence managed to produce 2003’s ‘Songs From The Sawmill’ E.P. for Limekiln records and 2005’s ‘Sign Of The Spyglass’ full-length for Clockwork recordings), Prescott (Arizona, U.S.) based punk/rock outfit Hour Of The Wolf has spent the better part of the last five years keeping themselves busy with a host of E.P.’s and split releases to their name, as well as maintaining a presence on the live front with tours alongside well known acts such as Terror, Against All Authority and Bleeding Through.
Surprisingly enough, the five piece act (Who comprise of vocalist Lance, guitarist/vocalist Addison Math, guitarist Hank, bassist Pat Callaway and drummer Dustin ‘Sweat’ Phillip Hanna) have decided to re-release their entire catalogue of E.P.’s, split releases and one off recordings over two full-length efforts. The first release from the projected comprehensive two disc anthology from Think Fast! Records have finally arrived under the self depreciating banner of ‘Decompositions Vol. 1’.
Hour Of The Wolf open up this compiled effort with ‘Domestic Wild’, which is a brand new track, and one that well and truly gives the album a rocking start to proceedings. Part rock and part punk, Hour Of The Wolf certainly have a different sound to most within the scene, but one that definitely stands out for all the right reasons with its unbridled energy and use of infectious melody within a hard rocking/punk rock framework.
The next nine tracks are lifted from the band’s debut 2006 E.P. ‘Power Of The Wolf’ (Which was originally released through Limekiln Records), which songs such as the fast paced and metallic sounding ‘Eat You Alive’, the rocking drive of ‘Spit It Right Back’, ‘Wild Man’, ‘Burn It’ (Which clearly sounds reminiscent of AFI in places, particularly on the vocal front with Lance adopting a very Davey Havok-like approach within his phrasing of the choruses) and the band’s note for note cover of Black Flag’s ‘Fix Me’ standing out as the E.P.’s stronger efforts.
Finishing up the disc is a collection of three previously unreleased covers. Much like their take on ‘Fix Me’, the band’s rendition of The Nerve Agents’ ‘Fall Of The All American’ and Kid Dynamite’s ‘Breakin’s A Memory’ are fairly true to the originals, and slot well against the band’s own material. It’s only their version of The Stooges’ ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’ that falls a little short of expectations, with the recording quality sounding quite raw and bootleg-like.
Putting aside the closer, ‘Decompositions Vol. 1’ is a fantastic release from start to finish, and a true collectors item for fans.
Hour Of The Wolf is hands down one the most enjoyable punk/rock act’s I’ve heard in years, and one I’ll definitely keep an eye out for well beyond the release of ‘Decompositions Vol. 2’ towards the tail end of the year.

For more information on Hour Of The Wolf, check out - http://www.myspace.com/hourofthewolfaz

© Justin Donnelly