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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Indie Anthology 80: essential songs

Let's keep with the recovered pace, so here comes another one for the Indie Anthology! Today we move to Essex, to pay our modest tribute to a very beloved band of the Blog (that his mighty leader David Callahan took his time to answer our questionnaire is among the "achievements" I'm most proud of). One that is very well "alive and kicking", in what, in my humble opinion, easily ranks among the most exciting comebacks in music history. Jangle-noise (what?) courtesy of the pack from Romford!

Song: Magic Triggers 
Artist: The Wolfhounds 
Year: 1990

It started, of course, with me downloading (Audiogalaxy folks, pure Pleistocene era) the über recurrent C-86 compilation. A bunch of wonders (Close Lobsters, Bodines, Shop Assistants and McCarthy, to just name a few), but also quite an amount of fillers (being polite). And then, others with a big question mark on it. Discovery, promise, or just one hit wonders? 'Feeling So Strange Again' was in that category for me. But not for a long time. Not when you discover a blasting tune like 'Anti-Midas Touch', or a record like 'Unseen Ripples from a Pebble'. It was jangle-pop, sure, but there was also bite and lyrics to dig in. And the following discoveries were asking me to dig deeper, more consciously, in that rage and social commentary, while the noise and experimentation kept the group interesting. Raw indiepop. with thorns in every side. What was not to love? Like McCarthy, The Wolfhounds were a group for me. So, to choose just one tune has been excruciating. The aforementioned 'Midas', the perfect combination of grit and mellowness of 'Me', the stormy, sonicyouthesque 'Blown Away', the incarnation of The Fall's gloom in 'Another Hazy Day On The Lazy "A"', or more recently, the mesmerizing melodic urgency of 'Divide and Fall'. Any of them could have gone here. Why the choice of 'Magic Triggers' then? I guess it has to do with the "take no prisoners" upbeat start, or the pressing, contagious immediacy of the tune, or the desperate vocals delivered by David, or the manic guitar halfway of the piece, or the tension, the constant threat between melody and fury. Sums pretty well all the reasons why I love The Wolfhounds and why I think they are among the most criminally underrated bands. Period. Here I rest my case.

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