Wolf Eyes Burned Mind

[Sub Pop; 2004]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: noise rock, free-form
Others: Hair Police, Dead Machines, Aaron Dilloway, Emil Beaulieau

A: Amneziak
AW - Amneziak's Wife

A: I can't wait for you to see this band that's opening for Sonic Youth tonight. You're totally going to hate them. They're called Wolf Eyes and they're loud as shit.

AW: Are you serious? Do I really have to go to this thing? You know I hate your crappy music.

A: YES! You HAVE to at least see Sonic Youth. I know you like them.

AW: Yeah, they're pretty good. Who else is supposed to be opening for them?

A: This band called Hair Police. They're another band I'm sure you'll hate. I told you about both of them. Remember? No Fun Fest? NYC?

AW: *rolls eyes* GREAT!?!?!?!

A: Oh yeah, bring your ear plugs. You'll need them.

The above dialogue is usually the type of situation I find myself in with my wife when it comes time for me to drag her to a show. She hates my music and doesn't even remotely understand anything that's not radio-friendly "ear candy." However, in the case of Wolf Eyes, and noise music in general, I completely understand. Wolf Eyes is certainly not the type of band that would be the cup of tea for many.

With their first full-length release on the Sub Pop label, Wolf Eyes set out to destroy all hopes of becoming popular in the mainstream. And I'm not even saying that's their intent. But regardless of their intent, the new album is here and ready to kill. Burned Mind is full of gigantic sounds with devastating results, and it's certainly going to make the average listener wonder what the hell just happened to them.

The pounding tape loops and random noises are still heavily in tact here, but are even louder than before. It's as if this trio is angry at the world and is desperate to leave all their aggression behind in the studio. I remember when the good old drum kit was my choice for relieving anger. After a release like this, Olson, Young, and Dilloway must be the nicest guys on the planet.

The album starts of with "Dead in the Boat," a song that begins quietly and hints that maybe this could be one of their more ambient, textured albums. But within seconds, we see that these Michigan noisters aren't going to be so forgiving on our ears. Quickly taking charge is the song that is typically heard at their live show, called "Stabbed in the Face." The song wins my vote as the most devastating track to ever hit these old eardrums. And the louder you turn up the volume, the more ferocious it becomes.

It's damn near impossible to sit through the entire song at a high volume. You most certainly wouldn't want to be listening to this album while stuck in traffic. In fact, I'm usually pretty worn out and ready for a good night of sleep by the time the album finishes. There are certain moments later in the album where the band gives the listener a tiny bit of sympathy. Songs like "Burned Mind" and "Black Vomit," although not quite as bombastic as the others, show why Wolf Eyes is the premier noise band.

But whether these guys are going to hit the mainstream anytime soon or not, you can rest assured that people will be talking about them. Burned Mind contains some of the heaviest moments on record that I've ever heard. And while the fact may remain true that they won't be everyone's cup of tea, this is music that won't be easily forgotten.

1. Dead in a Boat
2. Stabbed in the Face
3. Reaper's Gong
4. Village Oblivia
5. Urine Burn
6. Rattlesnake Shake
7. Burned Mind
8. Ancient Delay
9. Black Vomit

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