Friday, January 4, 2013

Hour Of The Wolf - Decompositions Vol. II

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

Following on from their ‘Decompositions Vol. 1’ compilation effort from last year, Prescott (Arizona, U.S.) based punk/rock outfit Hour Of The Wolf and Think Fast! Records have finally completed work on the long awaited second compilation effort - which is appropriately enough entitled ‘Decompositions Vol. II’.
As expected, this fifteen track release compiles the remaining bits and pieces of Hour Of The Wolf’s vast collection of recorded efforts on E.Ps, split releases and various one off recordings, with the first seven tracks on the album lifted from the band’s long out of print ‘Waste Makes Waste’ E.P. from 2007. It’s clear from the tracks that make up ‘Waste Makes Waste’ that the five piece act (Who comprise of vocalist Lance Merwin, guitarist/vocalist Addison Math, guitarist Hank, bassist Pat Callaway and drummer Dustin ‘Sweat’ Phillip Hanna) had stepped up their game since their previous effort (2006’s ‘Power Of The Wolf’ E.P.), with the band sounding sharper, more aggressive and overall that much more refined in terms of their song writing. But while some of the rougher edges had been smoothed out a little, the band’s trademark rock ‘n’ roll influenced hardcore sound is still very much intact, with tracks such as the raucous ‘Black Blood’, the melodic and anthem-like duo of ‘Set The Trash On Fire’ and ‘Blue Recluse’ and the heavy hitting destructive drive of ‘Heavy Living’ clear evidence of Hour Of The Wolf’s perfect mix of maturity and pure chaotic rock ‘n’ roll hardcore.
Interestingly enough, the two hidden bonus tracks on the ‘Waste Makes Waste’ E.P. are included here as tracks in their own right. The first is the rather short ‘William Wayne’ (Which is essentially a brief speech from actor John Wayne, who at the time is a little intoxicated to say the least), which is little more than filler at best. The second is the band’s cover of Mission Of Burma’s ‘That’s How I Escaped My Certain Fate’ (From 1982’s ‘Vs.’), which is true to the original, but given a makeover with a distinctly Hour Of The Wolf edge.
The second half of this album compiles the three tracks that originally appeared on the band’s split effort alongside Lewd Acts back in 2008 (Both the catchy ‘Overload’ and the intense ‘War Machine’ are firm favourites!), before finishing up with a previously unreleased cover of Tom Petty And The Heatbreakers’ ‘I Need To Know’, the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it ‘Chainsaw Love’ (Which is reportedly an obscure remake of a long forgotten Brian Edward Gianelli/Bueno/All Autonomy track) and the humorous uncredited hidden track that goes by the title ‘Snake Man’.
Prior to getting ‘Decompositions Vol. 1’, I had no idea of who Hour Of The Wolf was. But after a couple of spins, I could honestly call myself a fan. Needless to say, ‘Decompositions Vol. II’ more than lives up to my expectations and I’ll be sure to keep a closer eye on the band’s movement for this moment on.

For more information on Hour Of The Wolf, check out – http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hour-of-the-Wolf/136819514121

© Justin Donnelly