Wolves Attack!! - Piss on Everything - (6.5/10)
Published on August 11, 2017
Those two exclamation marks in the moniker Wolves Attack!! are very useful for distinguishing this band from super-serious hardcore units. It’s also useful for calculating how much of a statement the album title really is, since one can either see Piss on Everything through the lens of its tongue in cheek intentions or as a feral blast of ragged energy. Were the Philadelphians actually to arc their piss over a suitably wide area, the howled slogans might have to be just a touch more vicious and the breakdowns a bit more brutal, while the band might have chosen to avoid song titles such as “Pack to the Future”, “The Pizza Incident”, and “Full Moon Fuck Beast”.
However, that’s not to say that the five-piece have made an album quite as day-glo as the garish cover art would suggest, merely that the bark of these wolves is worse than their bite. There are plenty of down and dirty riffs that rarely deviate far from punk’s simplicity, while the breakdowns are chunky thumps at the clattery kit of Tom Taylor and the vocals a hoarse roar courtesy of John Walls. Rarely does the band cross over into metal territories, yet the tighter riffing of “Bite Radius” suggests some affiliation with the genre, especially the breakneck chugs that sink teeth into a thrashy apple for at least a few seconds. All of this is summed up fairly well by the “for fans of” list on the album’s press release, mentioning names as diverse as DRI, Iron Reagan, GG Allin, Ghoul (presumably the Japanese band of that name), and GWAR, all of which do feature in some measure within the cocktail of sounds, though the formula is tilted towards the modern end of those styles.
What makes Piss on Everything just a touch difficult to enjoy is that the pieces in that equation of influences don’t fit together snugly, leaving parts of the band’s appeal highlighted and others hidden. The song titles and band aesthetic certainly suggest something fun and irreverent, though the lyrics are mostly obscured by the gargled vocals (approaching Ringworm levels of inaccessibility at times) and leave the songs feeling much less fun than they should, except for the shouted refrain of “Full Moon Fuck Beast”, which is exactly as one would anticipate. On the other hand, the anger and sense of release don’t come across fully either, since there are quite a number of slower parts in songs such as “Apex Predator” and “Wolfbot” that allow the aggression to dissipate and the energy to turn into an affecting, yet somewhat unsought, lurking menace.
For all the crossed lines, Wolves Attack!! do manage to convince the listener on some points, pumping plenty of energy into most of the cuts and achieving some slick interplay between bass and drums especially. For such a brief album (only around 21 minutes), the unified effect of the songs is stronger than any one in particular, though props go to the boisterous “Bite Radius”, silly but fun “Full Moon Fuck Beast”, and the well-executed closer “Party Wolf”, which benefits from great rhythmic ideas and its surging momentum. In sum total, Piss on Everything is thus not a resounding success, failing to fully achieve any of its specific aims, despite proving a decent step for a young band with only one previous official release under their belts. Keep an eye on these guys if you like to shout while you have fun.