Thursday, September 10, 2015

Air Wolves - Life Is A Bloodsport

Label: Paradox Transmissions
Year: 2015

After yesterday's Cure listening party (in my house anyway...can't speak to what you do behind closed doors [pictures please]), this album showed up in the (digital) mail from the band at just the right time. I was already primed and ready for some good, gothy, post punk darkness. And it delivered.
Sadly, even though Air Wolves are from the exact same city in which I reside, I've never exactly resided close enough to them to see them...or...hear them for that matter. Which, to be frank, I don't see much outside the four walls of my home, and I don't hear much beyond 1986 Corrosion Of Conformity, know. I'm pretty much a worldly dude. This band though, this one is worth looking into. I was caught off guard by the sound, expecting with a name like Air Wolves to be assaulted by some kind of metal something-or-other, which was not, and is still not, the case.
So what do they sound like?
Remember that scene in Grease where Frenchy is serenaded by her guardian angel (wonderfully cast as Frankie Avalon) with the rueful tune "Beauty School Dropout"? Yes? Yes, of course you do, it's a master class of cinematic triumph. Ok, well, now imagine that same scene, but instead of Frenchy, it's Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex being sung to by her guardian (arc?)angel Ian Curtis with the even more dire and foreboding "Art School Dropout". Think about what that would sound like for a minute.
But beyond English post-punk, Air Wolves also manage to weave in some bouncy Talking Heads style new wave, some skittering shimmering Durutti Column, some garage damage (especially on the aptly constructed paean to their hometown "Song For Atlanta"), some creepy death rock a la Christian Death, and some dirty dark rock not unlike Southern Death Cult.
It's a lot, but it all comes together in a glorious early 80's stew of ink black hair, leather jackets, and pancake makeup (all compliments mind you). This band could have shown up on the 'Hell Comes To Your House' compilation and fit right in. That's a tough think to pull off circa 2015 without sounding phony, but Air Wolves have done it. They have crafted a completely retro sound that straddles the line between homage to the past and looking forward into the unknown.
I'm stoked on this one. Try it out!


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