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Sonic Guide To…UK / US / Canada – Wolf Eyes

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The noisy and obtuse post-techno rhythms of Wolf Eyes are the product of broken Simon games, Juan Atkins-style electro, and George Clinton funk chutzpah filtered through homemade keyboards, drum machines, and other heavily distorted instruments. – All Music Guide

Rooted equally in frenetic rock energy of bands like Black Flag and noisy assault of the likes of Suicide and Throbbing Gristle, Ann Arbor, MI Wolf Eyes are playing what Village Voice magazine dubbed “garbagetronica” (although the term rejected by band members for being too simplistic) . Since the late 90s, the band produced more than a 100 releases on labels like American Tapes, Gods Of Tundra, Sub Pop, Hanson, Bulb and many others.

Initially, Wolf Eyes was a solo vehicle for the band’s founder Nathan Young, who was also a part of Nautical Almanac, Beast People and Mini-Systems. Eventually, he also added a fellow Beast People member Aaron Dilloway to the line-up and later the band expanded to a trio when they also invited drummer John Olson (Universal Indians) to the fold.

Wolf Eyes first CD release was self-titled record, which came out on Bulb Records in 2000. All Music Guide pointed out that “At first, the record appears potentially fun but quickly turns down a dark alley to a place where art imitates death.” and they also commented that “Wolf Eyes’ self-titled debut is also incredibly inventive in its use of existing instruments (guitar, bass) as it creates Franken-funk for a last night on earth.”

2002 brought two WE full-lengths at once – “Slicer” (on Hanson label) and “Dread” (on Bulb label). “Slicer” was described by Dusted Reviews website as “a contemplative album, characterized primarily by extended reflections on elementary samples or beats”,  while Second  Layer Records described “Dread” as “a world where Negative Approach has gotten in a fist fight with Throbbing Gristle and spat out the heaviest punk rock record ever made.”

2004 “Burned Mind” was the band’s first full-length for legendary label  Sub Pop. All Music Guide commented that “Burned Mind isn’t just Wolf Eyes’ most cohesive album yet, it’s also their most accessible, which makes it equally satisfying for those just discovering the band and those already converted by Wolf Eyes’ fascinatingly ugly sounds.”

Pitchfork gave the album 8 points out of 10 and pointed out that “Burned Mind betrays music’s implied purpose of providing an enjoyable aural experience, while at the same time being psychologically compelling and richly imagistic enough to invite repeat listens.”

2006 saw more full-lengths from the bands – a collaboration with Anthony Braxton called “Black Vomit” (on Victo label) and “Human Animal” their second release for Sub Pop. All Music Guide commented on “Vomit” that “Braxton purists are in for a solid headache” and “as far as Wolf Eyes’ discography goes, this is also one of their best-recorded albums.”, while “Human Animal” was described by them as “the agoraphobic yin to Burned Mind’s claustrophobic yang.”

The band’s latest CD (as of 2010) is “Always Wrong”, which came out on Hospital Productions. Pitchfork commented that “for anyone attuned to the subtle differences between each overloaded whine, harrowing clang, and psychotic drone, Always Wrong offers a lot to lose your mind in.”, while igethype! blog called it “a mantra of severity /  a denial against conformity / the triumph of walking a path alone.”

Current Line-Up:

John Olson (Basket Case, Bass Face, Beast, Birth Refusal, Boy Department Boyz, Breckman Duo, Burning Graveyard Lights, Cape God, Casket Sinkers, Cass Chamber, Circuit Refusal, Coffee, Commune Ills, Coyote Ugly, Dead Air, Death Machines, Death K.C.O.M.M., Dirty Dynamite Gang, Dr. Gretchen’s Musical Weightlifting Program, E Ka (S) Boa, Frying Membrane Boyz, Graveyards, Handicapper Horns, Have You Seen The Shining?, Lake Bottoms, Local Disorder, Machine Yardz, Miscarriage, Mongoloid Men, Paekong Mae’s Integer & Real Fathom Band, Plants, R.I.P. Randy California, R.S.V.P. Band, Regional Sewer District, Saturday Night Live, Scare Supply, Speculum Spyked, Spyke Point, Spyked Mammal, Steel Forest, Syndromes, Synth Jerkshop, Thin Ensemble, Tornado Boys, Ugly Museum, Universal Indians, Violent Ramp, Warning Sign, Zero Percent Interest)

Mike Connelly (Beast, Birth Refusal, Burning Graveyard Lights, Circuit Refusal, Death K.C.O.M.M., Failing Lights,Fail Sick, Gate To Gate, Hair Police, Haunting, Lasting Hunt, Miscarriage, Mongoloid Men, New Device, Regional Sewer District, Semen Flashback, Stoning, Synth Jerkshop, Under Cloven Spell, White Ghosts, Zombi)

Nate Young (Beast People, Beast, Betrayor,Demons, Greh Wolfs, Hatred, Jean Street, Mini-Systems, Mongoloid Men, Nautical Almanac, Regression)

Former Members:

Aaron Dilloway (Beast People, Beast, Casket Sinkers, Commune Ills, Couch, Coyote Ugly, Dead Air, Flying Luttenbachers, Galen, Greh Wolfs, Have You Seen The Shining?, Isis & Werewolves, Many Moods Of Marlon Magas, Miscarriage, Nevari Butchers, Spine Scavenger, SS Envenomind, Synth Jerkshop, Ugly Museum, Universal Indians, Violent Ramp, Warning Sign)

Andrew W.K. (Wilkes-Krier) (Ancient Art Of Boar, Isis & Werewolves, To Live And Shave In L.A.)

Selected Discography:

Wolf Eyes CD (Bulb, 2000)

Dread CD / LP (Hanson + American Tapes, 2001)

Egypt Skull CDr (American Tapes, 2001)

Moral Witchcraft CDr (American Tapes, 2001)

Slicer CD / Cass (Hanson, 2001)

Black Rat Floods CDr (American Tapes, 2002)

Dead Hills CD / LP (Troubleman Unlimited, 2002)

Fuck Pete Larsen CD / LP (Bad Glue, 2002 / Wabana Ore Limited, 2004)

Powerless 7″ (American Tapes, 2002)

Snake Transmitters CDr (American Tapes, 2002)

Strangulation Tank CDr (American Tapes, 2002)

Uglied (Polyamory, 2002)

Y’all Must Be Really Mad At Something CDr (American Tapes, 2002)

Biles CDr (American Tapes, 2003)

Covered In Bugs DVDr (Hanson, 2003)

Dry Sockets Lathe (American Tapes, 2003)

Fuck Birmingham Cass (American Tapes, 2003)

Blood Fed Lathe (Self-Released, 2004)

Breeding Turbines Cass (American Tapes, 2004)

Depth Charges Lathe (American Tapes, 2004)

Dog Jaw CDr / 12″ (Heresee, 2004 / 2006)

Lung Malfunction CDr (Gods Of Tundra, 2005)

River Of Haze CDr (Gods Of Tundra, 2005)

The Warriors (with Prurient) CD / LP (Hospital Productions, 2005 / Gods Of Tundra, 2005)

Black Vomit CD (Les Disques Victo, 2006)

Diseased Howls CDr (Gods Of Tundra, 2006)

Equinox (with John Wiese) CD (Troniks, 2006)

Fried Alive 2xCDr (Maim & Disfigure, 2006)

Guillotine Keys LP (Ultra Eczema, 2006)

Human Animal CD / LP (Sub Pop, 2006)

Black Wing Over The Sand CD / LP (iDEAL + Kning Disk, 2007)

Claustrophobic CDr (Gods Of Tundra, 2007)

Dogs On Stage CDr (8mm, 2007)

Intrusion CDr (Gods Of Tundra, 2007)

Shattered Cass (Hospital Productions, 2007)

Time Of Clearing CDr (Gods Of Tundra, 2007)

Always Wrong CD / LP (Hospital Productions, 2009)

Nug Truss Cass (American Tapes, 2010)

Wolf Eyes / Prurient Split 7″ (Musikzimmer, 2010)

Selected Compilation Tracks:

“Cut The Dog” on If The Twenty-First Century Didn’t Exist It Would Be Necessary To Invent It (5 Rue Christine, 2002)

“Ancient Delay” on Empieza La Temporada Sub Pop (SinedIn Music, 2004)

“Live At Fireside Bowl” on Land Of Tuh! Sound Volume One (Audiobot, 2004)

“Skunk” on Mitten (State) Transmissions (Top Quality Rock And Roll, 2006)

“Fisted Gadgets” on Viva Negativa! – A Tribute To New Blockaders Volume || (Vinyl-On-Demand, 2006)


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