Thursday, March 30, 2006

 

Wolfhounds


Hardly the friendliest looking bunch you've ever seen are they? Collectively they were known as the Wolfhounds, a highly suitable name as it turned out for this band that served as a tool for Dave Callahan's songwriting skills. This east London group first came to our attention as one of the participants on the NME produced C86 cassette, a set celebrating white guitar based indie music and featuring acts such as Primal Scream, Wedding Present, the Soup Dragons and McCarthy. They seemed even at the time out of step with the other artists as their sound was much more abrasive and aggressive than that of their twee jangly cousins. Despite the success of C86 the Wolfhounds continued to pursue their own agenda, that of a noise pop group exploring a darker and more experimental approach. It took them two years to reach the summit and 1988 was to be their year, as they released 'Bright and Guilty' their finest hour that included the incredibly caustic and funky 'Son Of Nothing'. A song savaged by the wha wha pedal with a highly catchy child like chorus. This song along with another that I remember well from this period 'Rent Act' are to be found on the Cherry Red produced compilation 'Lost But Happy' where you can sample other fines examples from Callahan's sarcastic pen with a typically challenging musical tapestry. No wonder that they have been described as England's answer to Sonic Youth, and that Richie Edwards, Manic street Preachers, has cited them as a major inlfuence and motivational force. Since their conception there had been internal tensions leading to various personnel changes that came to a head in 1990 while recording their last album 'Attitude', already intended as a contract filler, and so the Wolfhounds were to fall to pieces in the studio.
Apart from Callahan who went on to greater things but more about that another day, the Wolfhounds counted amongst their ranks at one time or another the late Mary Hansen who later played an important role in Stereolab and Matt Deighton who for a two year spell was Paul Weller's choice of Rhythm guitarist.

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