If you're reading music blogs, the phrase "guitar rock is dead" gets uttered enough to almost render it a lie. The truth is, that while traditional guitar rock isn't as readily available nowadays, rock n' roll that isn't of the indie fare has gotten heavier and heavier in the absence of the traditional genre.
For Houston's We Were Wolves, the memo from rock critics must have gone unnoticed. On their new E.P. Empty Plans, the Beaumont natives and Houston transplants don't mince riffs while creating another head banger without steering too close to the world of heavy metal in the process.
Opening with the squealing guitars of "Millionaire's Pie," the chunky riffs and thunderous drums showcase the leaps the band has taken as songwriters. More tight and emphatic, the song opens in a way that immediately grabs your attention.You're kidding yourself if you think that it shouldn't get played at a maximum volume. The runs down the fret board coupled with the pace of the song make it one that you might find yourself listening to again and again.
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They follow this with the snappy and hook filled sounds of "Charred Pasts." The bass line alone would be enough if the guitars and drums didn't create a stride that holds your attention as it does. Taking the speed down a half step, the bridge of the song has this open ended guitar that calls out like a ghostly spirit caught between worlds. When the band does pick up the pace, they don't mess around and keep the guitar solo alive complete with a wah-infused howl that you won't soon forget.
The catchiest song of the release, "What I'm Turning Into" follows up and proves that these guys haven't lost their ability to write catchy songs. That's not to say the song isn't heavy, because the mix of all the instruments without the vocals create a sonic landscape that's heavy and melodic at the same time.
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While the band changes direction a bit on the opening of "Does It Matter," that doesn't mean they're trading in their heavier chips. In fact, while the song steers a bit away from the speed of the rest of the release, it's actually peppered throughout with thick riffs. The band keeps things heavy with the closer, "Green Boots." While the song is just a hair over the two minute mark, the chaos of the song works well, while the vocals sound like they're mixed in with the muddy bass, the snappy drums, and the squealing guitars.
If you've followed these guys over the years nothing here will shock you as they've always found a way to reinvent themselves a little on each release without trading in their heavy rock union cards. If this is your first time hearing of We Were Wolves, then you should know that Empty Plans is a nice representation of how the band sounds live. You can stream the E.P. in all of the usual places, or purchase it directly from the band via their Bandcamp page.