Thursday, April 21, 2016

Wolfpack-Seen Not Herd; Sudden Death, 2014

At a recent show in Oakland, Disaster Amnesiac was intrigued by one of the opening bands as they set up. It was clear that their drummer was going to sing, always a plus for me (I know, totally in the minority here), and I loved the way he pushed his kit up close to the front of the stage. A bold move within the Rock band context, for sure!
Watching Wolfpack play, and despite them getting a pretty crappy house mix, Disaster Amnesiac very much enjoyed their energetic, Metallic Thrash Punk Rock. A long descriptor, for sure, but the band seemed to pull from those three streams. On account of the mix, it didn't always have the fullest impact, but I figured I'd buy some of their merch and listen closely. Pretty glad that I did, it turns out. Seen Not Herd features some really catchy songs, tight playing, and a compelling energy throughout its quick running time. To my ears, Wolfpack drummer Tom really runs the show, driving fast blasting tunes like Toxic Times and Sinister Minister with his fast chops and high energy. Indeed, all of the tunes are swiftly propelled by him. Not that Seen Not Herd is a drum showcase record, but Tom's drumming on it, much as it does during the live set, takes center stage. Disaster Amnesiac seriously digs on his great cymbal technique, as evinced on tunes like Music As Sport, and his tom tom pounding on Screaming Queens and Motel Sixx. The later has the kind of swinging Aussie Boogie feel that would make AC/DC, Grong Grong, or King Snake Roost proud!
Six string and bass guitarists Brad and Kane, respectively, entwine around Tom's solid rhythmic ballast, each putting in tight and solid riffing. Wolfpack doesn't seem to be a band that gives much to the guitarist in the way of solo action, but the tunes' tight arrangements and overall brevity make it so that they're not missed that much. The guitars become almost percussive additions for the drumming, not that unusual for Thrash, obviously; I would have liked to hear some guitar soloing, but perhaps that would have taken away from the urgency of message that Wolfpack feel.
Seen Not Herd strikes Disaster Amnesiac as a solid document from a hard working Punk Rock band. I have no idea if the scene is embracing their sounds, but I will be trying to haul my aging ass to their next SF Bay Area show.

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