Punk rock lifers with deep roots in the Norwegian hardcore and metal underground, Wolves Like Us have pedigree, poise and an intuitive feel for the form.
Wolves Like Us: Black Soul Choir
Blackened punk rock fury from Oslo
Following on from 2011’s excellent Late Love, the Oslo quartet’s second full-length release takes its cues from the snapping, clutch-and-release dynamics of mid-90s US post-hardcore – Quicksand, Handsome, Snapcase, Orange 9mm – but supplements that scene’s economical, precision-tooled thrust with expertly deployed layers of gnarled noise and bared-teeth melodicism.
As with their pals and former tourmates Kvelertak, the Wolves bring a genuine sense of adventure to their roaring, rolling attack, and Black Soul Choir is all the better for it. Lovescared is all eerie, backwoods acoustic atmospherics, the eight-minute Thantos Wins Again stretches into progressive rock spaciness and I Don’t Need To Be Forgiven tips a hat to early 80s post-punk with its high-tensile basslines and brooding, noir ambience.
And, while hardly the genre’s most gifted or versatile vocalist, charismatic frontman Larsh Kristensen nevertheless brings a rare authority to proceedings, his taut phrasing making the punchy Three Poisons and the Helmet-esque We Were Blood masterful exercises in controlled aggression. A superior record from a gifted, likable band.