We Are Wolves Non-Stop Je Te Plie en Duex

[Fat Possum; 2005]

Styles: noisy synth-punk
Others: Liars, Kill Me Tomorrow, Les Georges Leningrad, Numbers

This review is a little late, but this record shouldn't get away that easily. It's really too bad dance-punk is "played out" already, because these guys are pretty darn good at it, and we should talk about that. They've been around since 2003 too, so why only now are we hearing this stuff? WHAT'S THE DEAL? Here's the deal: We Are Wolves are a Montreal trio whose cryin' synth blasts (they really are blasts too, it's great), simple drum beats, catchy bass/guitar lines and extremely-shouted vocals become a pretty good whole.

The problem with all those dance-punks and the year 2004 in general was that every band tried to be a cool dance-punk outfit and suddenly the punk part fell out of the scene. But We Are Wolves win because they are actually pretty punk: they have a totally uncool name (having a "wolf" in your name is like being named [blank]-head in the early '90s) and they're not afraid to let their synths just freakin' blast over a 4/4 beat while they scream and play a few power chords.

For some reason I decided to listen to only the first four seconds of each song on Non-Stop before I actually listened to the whole thing, and that was the most fun I had with this record. The sound is so great, with the production values geared to let the synths and basic electronic mayhem just take over the whole record, and the aforementioned 'boards pushing at the edges of stereo and recording capabilities while delayed vocals and shouts fart out from the sides and drums crack and sputter in the background. It's thick and tinny at the same time, like a really fuckin' filling cracker. And you never forget humans are making it! That's a huge plus.

This could be the best dirty dance band around right now, beating Numbers, Les Georges Leningrad and definitely those Whirlwind Heat assholes (are they still around?) at this jittery, my-Game-Boy-took-over-my-band sound. Non-Stop has too many different-sounding shitty synths for just one band (and especially just one song). And if you let "Vosotros, Monstrous" roll over you with its extreme, layered synth attack, you'll be pretty happy.

But while that's great, there's a reason listening to the first four seconds of every song was my highlight: they don't do anything different across the album. They stay in their sputter-punk phase, allowing the "we're a crazy fucked-up party" vibe to carry the whole record. "T.R.O.U.B.L.E.," for instance, just tells us they're looking for trouble. There's no hint at what kind of awesome trouble they want. They prove they can yell slogans pretty well, they can noodle around a synthesizer until they find a cool little melody-line, and they prove they can sound pretty dirty. But Non-Stop could be one really long song, and I prefer my jitter-punk to crawl all over the town like Internal Wrangler did all those years ago. But until then, at least these guys are a blast.

1. Little Birds
2. L. L. Romeo
3. La Nature
4. Snare Me
5. Namai-Taila-Cambodge (Go-Tabla-Go)
6. Non Stop
7. Moi Rythme Magique
8. Vosotros, Monstrous
9. T.R.O.U.B.L.E

10. We Are All Winners
11. Glazé, Blazé (Glazed the Blazed)

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