EP Review: Wolves at Bay – “When I’m Dead”

Wolves at Bay recently released three brand new songs in the form of a limited cassette release through Up All Night Records titled When I’m Dead. The opening song, “Tried to Fix”, makes use of some clean cut and tuned vocals and harmonies, there’s some big melodic chord progressions and the usual stuff here… but there’s no urgency or passion and it all comes off pretty uninspired.

“Nothing Will Work” is equally yawn worthy. The repeated vocal “you could never get your…/ you could never get your…/ you could never get your” just drags on. The song lacks any build up or pay off, the band has no surprises up their sleeves. The final track, “Sincerely, Your Ex-Lover”, is almost 7 minutes long and feels like a lost opportunity to explore or branch out but instead it is just a 7 minute song. It’s slower, longer and just as ambiguous as the previous two songs. An attempt at post-rock with screaming and weird swooshy noises just comes across as generic and half baked.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with what Wolves at Bay have made here, everything is recorded and mixed well enough and there’s an equal balance between instruments and performances. Occasional use of acoustic guitar, ambient lead tones and effects add a bit of colour and the song writing is reminiscent of Emery/Make Do and Mend/Thrice etc but lacks the power and impact of those bands. Wolves at Bay sound too much like a lot of other bands and this lack of uniqueness makes it all the more forgettable.

Skip this one unless you’re curious or already a fan.

1 / 5 Stars

When I’m Dead is available for free download via the Animal Style Records Bandcamp page, which you can find right here.

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