Since 2010 much has happened in the local music scene. More recently we have seen an obsession with indie take us by storm, with bands like Al Bairre and Early Hours really coming to the fore, making a name for themselves. While I’m not in any way knocking such bands or the liking people have taken to indie music, I can’t help but wonder if in our indie-crazed state we are missing some great bands that don’t conform to this culture.
Feed the Wolf, formed in 2010, are still a young band, but certainly not one we can ignore. Based in Pretoria, this five-piece rock band is bringing back rock ‘n roll in its purest form. As I listened to their debut self-titled album, released in July this year, the sentiments of rock and roll, a genre I’m not a fan of, and consequently don’t ever listen to, were no less evident and familiar, reminiscent of a rich musical history of blues, rock, and an all too familiar fusion of the two.
Beginning with a creaking door, the turning on and off lights and ominous murmurs, Feed the Wolf raises an eyebrow right from the word go. A simple vamp adds to the aesthetic, offering a circus-like feel, further upping the ante. An interesting opening, to say the least, but as the album progresses Feed the Wolf demonstrate that they are comfortable in their genre.
Each musician in this band certainly has something to offer. My first impression of the vocalist was that he sounds like Elvis Presley. Be that as it may, the vocal style certainly enhances, perhaps makes, this band’s sound. Often I wonder if “narrator” would be a more fitting name than “singer”. While there is no doubt that Borne is a skilled vocalist, the vocals throughout the album are frequently more expressive talking than they are singing – and this is by no means a criticism.
The blues influence is clear in the guitars. The solos, in particular, have a very bluesy sound to them. On their Facebook, they describe their bassist: “Jonathan Georgiades rounds out the rhythm section by delivering creamy jazz infused bass lines as seductive as silk on naked skin.” While I’d be okay to accept most of that (more or less, at least), I wonder about the “jazz infused” bit. As I listen to the album I hear many things. Jazz is not one of them.
Generally the album is decently mixed. It certainly is not the most commercial sounding mix, but given their style and the rough-edged nature of it this doesn’t strike me as problematic. I would have liked to hear more done with the drums, particularly the kick and snare, which may have added a sense of tightness to their sound, but again, perhaps that’s not what they were after, and again, this doesn’t strike me as problematic.
This is not a genre I’m a fan of, and this album hasn’t changed that. However, there is no denying that this is a band that knows what they are doing. My taste aside, there is no denying this band knows what they are doing and for anyone looking for some good ole rock ‘n roll, this is album is a must.