One man band, Wolf Gang’s debut album, Suego Faults, opens with a brief whisper of echoes and effects, before disowning the mysterious sounds in favour of melodramatic, ‘bombastic’, pop beats.
After the stompingly brilliant ‘Lions in Cages’, the album peaks repeatedly with it’s obvious slices of pop classics but sometimes struggles to maintain these lofty heights.
‘Something Unusual’ is really anything but, a standard slice of pop with sighs of “ohhh” layered over a somewhat average backing but, thankfully, order is quickly restored with ‘Stay and Defend’ and the beautifully placid ‘Back to Back’. The latter harks back to the mysterious opening and builds it into a vast and evocative soundscape.
In the second half of the album, lead single ‘Dancing with the Devil’ is darkly catchy, certainly one of Suego Faults’ best. With its lyrically smart chorus, “They say that there’s no oxygen again / You’re forcing down the lies but you always get your way” it’s a true highlight, even outshining the rereleased ‘The King and All of His Men”.
Title track ‘Suego Faults’, with its delicate piano base, is the album’s most romantic affair. The result is a standout which deviates from the otherwise energetic pop.
Unfortunately the closer, ‘Planets’, is a slight anti-climax. With the twinges of Bowie, that have been seen elsewhere, it seems never-ending and as it meanders its way through synth-pop it never really gets anywhere. After a needless fade-out, the whole affair is over.
Max McElligott’s unique vocal tones at times seem unsuited to the pop aesthetic he’s tried to create, and in fact are oddly reminiscent of one-hit wonders Iglu and Hartley, more often though they help give the album, and the Wolf Gang sound, character and personality.
Many critics have picked up on the vast array of influences that shaped Wolf Gang’s music, from Kate Bush to the Killers to Duran Duran and many may question how easy to it is to stand out from these big hitters. The reality is though that Wolf Gang brings it all together in his own way to create a pop record different to a lot of what clogs the mainstream.
Read our interview with Wolf Gang here: http://forgetoday.com/fuse/music/interview-wolf-gang/