Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Album Review - Decompositions, Volume 1

Hour Of The Wolf - Decompositions, Volume 1 (Think Fast!, 2010)

(As far as I can tell, this release is only available on vinyl or digitally.)

Hour Of The Wolf are a frustrating band when it comes to releases. They have steadily released some great songs, but only in the form of singles, EPs and split releases. Their unique brand of hardcore punk has not yet seen a proper full length release. Rather than remedy this with an album of new material, the band have instead released a the first volume in a compilation of all those scattered tracks.

HOTW have been compared to Black Flag, Motorhead and even The Misfits, and quite frankly those are all valid comparisons. They have an old-school approach to hardcore that owes more to Black Flag than modern bands like Terror or Blood For Blood. The aggressive instrumentation does call to mind Ace Of Spades-era Motorhead, with the menacing punk rock charm of Danzig-era Misfits. But HOTW do what I love about my favorite bands, they take obvious influences and spin them into something that is all their own. They also remind me a bit of a rougher version of Kill Your Idols. Rough in a good way, of course, as hardcore never sounds right to me when it's polished.

Volume 1 is, in a way, basically a glorified re-release of the band's 2006 EP, Power Of The Wolf, with a new track the band wrote for the release ("Domestic Wild") as well as some covers (Black Flag's "Nervous Breakdown," The Nerve Agents' "Fall Of The All American," Kid Dynamite's "Breakin's A Memory" and The Stooges' "I Wanna Be Your Dog"). Think Fast! Records' statement about it says that this will be first time any of these songs are on vinyl, so that's not a bad for people who like vinyl. I would definitely recommend this to hardcore fans looking for a new band, but for people who are already fans that own the previous releases it isn't that great of a deal if you don't like vinyl. However, I just checked and the new tracks can be purchased individually on iTunes, but the release has not, at the time this is posted, been put on Think Fast!'s digital download store.

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