There has a been a lot of experimentation with the rise of the digital market as the new platform for releasing music. It’s also true that there’s no real formula for success, with routes for release taken being your standard planned album drop, to being a free add-on with a magazine, and even the undeniable rise of tools like BandCamp and also crowdfunding campaigns. True success to get through the fog of music is the hardest thing of all with bands pressing to be the next visionaries of their genres.
In step Bad Wolves with their debut EP, ‘False Flags: Volume One’, oddly and unexpectedly dropping out of thin air just two months ahead of a ready to go full-length album ‘Disobey’ in just a couple of months, with all 4-tracks here set to feature on the LP too.
Another oddity is the choice of its opener – their cover of the classic The Cranberries hit ‘Zombie’. Normally covers are relegated to being the b-sides and/or bonus track of a release, but this take is a touching tribute to the band’s late frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, who tragically passed away back in January, and was set to track vocals to feature on the this cover of their song on the day of her untimely death.
Bad Wolves certainly embrace their roots using a mixture of growl rap faced lyrics and kick drums to provide impact; the members have formally been in bands like Divine Heresy, God Forbid, In This Moment, and DevilDriver. This is best generated on ‘Officer Down’, which holds an open beat down of distorted guitars and a chorus of punk style rebellion. This then continues to a rush of blasted kick drums and guitar low tap-ons to generate more aggressive tones.
They also incorporate varying tempos and attempt to push the envelope by including both old and new techniques. These include more demonic tones mixed with changes in time signature to give an extra edge to what could be classed as a re-imagining of a more experienced band’s early days. The vocals include a range of style from super clean to full on guttural screaming, which is hard to master for any vocalist looking to keep a diverse range, and frontman Tommy Vext certainly sounds like a more accomplished and versatile Ivan Moody (Five Finger Death Punch).
Though there are only brief moments on display here, the band’s true test will be to see if they can keep the momentum and intrigue going for the duration of a full-length. Come the release of ‘Disobey’ in May, we’ll certainly be finding that out very soon.