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Wolf Eyes / Black Dice

Posted: September 27th, 2003, by Ollie

we drove down to kentucky to see some bands the other night, and it was good. the first 2 bands, death beam and hair police were pretty dumb but fun to watch. both bands played about 10-15 minute sets, and there was lots of awkward jerky guitar yelps from death beam, followed by screaming and fighting and noise by hair police.

next up was wolf eyes. prior to this gig, all i had heard by them was their dead hills picture disc on troubleman, which didn’t do anything for me at all, and more recently their dread lp on hanson, which was much better. however, neither record could have prepared me for the live experience. they lulled me into a false sense of security with their first song, which was a kind of laid back affair with horns and tape loops. after about 5 minutes though, they decided enough with the ambient shit, and launched a sonic attack vicious enough to make even the most hardened of noise fans piss their pants. we all agreed that, while it wasn’t really any louder decibel wise than other bands we had seen before, it was a different kind of noise. wolf eyes manage to do something with the sound they create that has some very interesting physical effects on the listener. my nostrils were vibrating throughout, something i can’t remember ever happening before. breathing became a less than simple task on more than one occasion. i found myself suffering from frequent pains in various parts of my head and neck. for a while it felt like i was being repeatedly punched in the chest. the few times when the wolfeyesdeathbeats? reached a point that could be defined as a “hook”, and fists began punch into the air, i started to feel like i was witnessing some kind of revolution, like life wouldn’t be quite the same when i left the venue. it’s very hard to write about such an obtuse band at my pathetic gcse-level, but needless to say i recommend that anyone who is curious to get some wolf eyes stuff. marvellous.

the common opinion after they finished was “how are black dice going to top that?!” and sure enough, they didn’t. their show in london earlier this year was bland as shit, and to be honest i was only enthusiastic about this gig because of the other bands playing. i have listened to beaches and canyons recently and quite enjoyed it, so i thought if nothing else i might recognize some of the set this time. well, i did, but it still wasn’t very good. they basically did the same thing they did in london, wobbly birdy sounds with a little bit of guitar and tribal drumming, apart from the fact that a) they only played for half as long, and b) they injected the odd burst of roaring cacophonous white noise every now and then, which certainly broke things up. i just don’t think black dice are a good band to see live, it’s just fucking boring. to be honest, it takes a lot to bore me at a gig, i’m a simple boy and don’t need much to entertain me, but black dice can’t even supply that. still, i didn’t care at all because wolf eyes had made the evening more than worthwhile.

further reading:




tomorrow we are spending the day in chicago, and then seeing lightning bolt. fucking lightning bolt.


Ollie lives in Cambridge and puts on gigs as part of Crushing Death and Grief.


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