Atlantis To Temporary Autonomous Interzone
Warmed by feedback and reverb the huddled crowd gathered, like a colony of winter coats, into the Unstable Stable at Kunst Gallery, Belper to see Crimewolf launch their newly unveiled debut album to the world.
The band strike looming silhouettes against a background video of The Lord of The Flies. William Golding’s “he began to dance and his laughter became a bloodthirsty snarling,” could be declaration of Crimewolf’s intent. The rising and collapse of the political and social order is always hinted at on the horizon of experience and it’s a theme that most bands would shy away from, let alone face down.
Distorted, staccato beats and frenzied, often undecipherable vocals make the performance seem purposely impenetrable at times. However, none of this happens in a priapic way, there’s no lad swagger here but rather bookish provocation against compromise. It’s confrontational music that grabs you by the shoulders, punches you in the gut and shakes your status quo to the very core. They take on the government’s policies, Teresa May and stand up for Grenfell all in space of a minute before launching straight into the next song without introduction or etiquette.
One of the must-see up and coming bands of the Amber Valley, Crimewolf have been described as a noise-rock four piece. Seeing them live you might struggle to pigeonhole the band into a genre, there’s shades of Drive Like Jehu and early The Fall, but only so far as their low-fi garage vibe. The band provide a wholly unique live experience you don’t often get with modern acts, and in the maelstrom of beige and bland cut outs you could do far worse than see this demented bunch before the steam runs out.
Culleton says half-way through the set that the night is “like a microcosm of everything that’s going on in our lives.” The take away is that between the cracks of all that fierce noise, hidden in the resistant onslaught of sound and spat vocals is, surprisingly, a tender optimism. Things are often bad, but people are here, on a February night, united in an icebox shed, neither defeated or distracted – how could they be?
The evening ends, fittingly, with no encore.
Crimewolf are a four-piece post-punk/noise-rock ensemble from Derby. David Culleton sings, Dan Wheeler is on drums, James Fletcher-Fallows plays bass and Chris Tree plays guitar. Their eponymous debut contains nine tracks, each titled with a single word, and it was recorded at Dubrek Studios in Derby by Jay Dean. The cover art, a spacey-psychedelic highlighter maelstrom against the planet Earth, is by Phil S. Burgess (Hairy Dog), aka D. Filis.
The album can be streamed from the Head of Crom Records Bandcamp and is available on limited 12″ vinyl now.