Independent release, 2015

REVIEW BY: Jason Warburg


Sometimes band names make me scratch my head; other times they seem like a perfect fit. EagleWolfSnake falls into the latter category, delivering a tight, energetic 31-minute debut that mixes and matches a trio of distinct personalities: raw, Clash-influenced New Wave guitar rock, big airy ’80s rock, and at least one charmingly sloppy surfer-dude campfire song.

In other words, a fun ride.

Opener “Empty Weather” is a 2:38 blast of raucous, retro guitar rock, the fat, locked-in rhythm section of bassist Eli Meyskens and drummer Ryan Malley topped off by the aggressive, shapeshifting riffage of guitarist Nick Bray. With all three contributing to the frequently ganged vocals, this power trio makes a big noise. Alternating between three or four central riffs, “Empty Weather” becomes almost a chant by the end, a bounding, thrumming meditation on loneliness and reconnection.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The similarly caffeinated “Valley” delivers virtually rapped lead vocals over fast, dirty, repeating riffs. The one-sheet’s reference to The Police’s Outlandos D’Amour is a good one; “Valley” and the punk-tinged, anthemic “We Are We Are” echo some of the furious energy that earlier trio manifested on its debut, if not often after that. There’s a certain sweaty nightclub danceability happening as well, in between references to “shoving violence down your throat” and “post-apocalyptic dreams.”

Another point of reference comes to mind pretty much as soon as the high chiming guitar that opens “Whatever You Say” is met by rough, chanting, almost rapping vocals; Sublime, anyone? The highlight of this steady-churning number, though, is the tight, expressive guitar solo Bray unleashes over the rhythm section’s steady urgings.

Both ”Do What You What” and “Signs” open with big, airy ’80s guitars before offsetting them with more scruffy, almost chanted vocals full of Joe Strummer attitude. In between, the loose, loping “Are You Alright?” offers a sunnier, more expansive psych-rock feel. Closer “Olivia” is where the surfer-dude vibe leaks in, a little Jack Johnson-y campfire singalong, complete with sloppy handclaps; every imperfection has been preserved for your listening enjoyment.

EagleWolfSnake sounds a little like that incredible band your nephew told you he caught in some random downtown dive last month; they’re disarmingly rough around the edges, but also clever, talented, and brimming with contagious energy. They’re creating their own language and shouting it out to the world, and isn’t that what rock and roll is all about?

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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