I come across a lot of bands in this line of work. Good bands, bad bands, pop bands, rock bands, big bands, small bands, young bands, old bands, haven't-been-a-band-for-very-long bands, loud bands, quiet bands, shy bands, flash bands, not-even-sure-why-they're-in-a-band bands.
Every once in a while though, you find an absolute thunderbastard of a band.
“It sounds like Lee Marvin walking in, without a shred of awkwardness, on the last orgy in Dresden. It sounds like The Bookhouse Boys, Ryan Adams and Tindersticks, on horseback, trying to rob a train that’s plummeting down the side of a cliff into Nick Cave’s own private ravine. It sounds like a dive bar. It sounds like pulling your stetson down over your eyes and bearing your teeth. It sounds like the murdered extras from every forgotten Sergio Leone film trying to seduce each other with vowels.”
“It sounds like it’s offering every other song you’ve ever heard out for a fight and, most importantly, it sounds like it would win.”
These were the words I managed to dribble out after their single Be My Love passed my desk a few months ago. Woven into its 6 minute running time is all the power and ferocity of a collection of stubbly, weather-beaten, snarling musical veterans, but powered by the hunger and conviction of a gang of cock-sure, shop looting, cyber punks with revolvers for teeth.
It sounds like the murdered extras from every forgotten Sergio Leone film trying to seduce each other with vowels
I feel pretty privileged to have a job that's even loosely linked to the North-East music scene. Standard bearing is the height of tedium, so I'll keep it brief, but the consensus up in this part of the world is that we're in something of a golden period. There's a lot of good bands, there's even a lot of great bands, but Chased By Wolves still, if you'll pardon the pun, leap straight out of the pack.
A five-piece, hailing from various points in the region, Chased By Wolves are fronted by a boy/girl combination not dissimilar to Mark Lanegan and Isobel Campbell. It's a folk-rock yin and yang that sees most of their tracks sway from a deep coarse pillar, to a harmonious piercing post. Backed by three incredible musicians, including one of the finest slide guitar players these young eyes have ever seen, they're a band who make you want to pack everything else in and make your own ham-fisted attempt at it.
'Be My Love' is an atypical example of their work, but they also possess the scope and vision to reign themselves in on occasion and, as a result, their live shows are as frenetic as they are thought provoking. They'll tear your fucking face off and then kiss it all better.
When it comes to new music, you're now left with three choices. You can either stay conventional and choose between things like vapid, mam-tickling, talent chasm Ed Sheeran or unfathomably dumb, just one gear on his fixie bike, walking advert for bullying Skrillex; you can sit in the house and watch ITV on a Saturday night, getting that warm and fuzzy feeling that accompanies your brain dribbling out of your ear and into your takeaway; or you can go digging for gems in bars and cafes 15 minutes from your front door.
If a band like Chased By Wolves can't inspire you to do the latter, then nothing will.
Click here for more stories in Music
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Twitter
Click here to follow Sabotage Times on Facebook