Boomkat Product Review:
It's a funny old thing, it can sometimes be tough to distinguish between 'good noise' and 'bad noise'. Unless your ears have been primed in the wonders of Whitehouse, Prurient and Hair Police as counterpoint to let's say, a jet engine or some roadworks outside your house it can skate dangerously close to being the same experience. It takes a brave ear to dare the illicit pleasures of hearing Wolf Eyes on a powerful system, but once you do there truly is no turning back - they have the rare ability to crush your eardrums in a way that will keep you going back for more; deep, distorted bass, screaming white noise and feedback and waves of saxophone will swirl unpleasantly around your very being while heavy distorted percussion and analogue synth bursts serve as a hard kick to the stomach. This is a band who can inspire praise from both free jazz legend Antony Braxton and no-wave rock God Thurston Moore in the same breath and who with their last Sub Pop album 'Burned Mind' won over a legion of fans in the most unlikely of places. A band who can have experimental purists The Wire raving about them at the same time as college-rock Bible Pitchfork, no mean feat. So all eyes are looking to these three sweaty noise-peddlers for their second Sub Pop full-length, and thankfully there isn't a single crackle of disappointment to report. Quite the opposite in fact, Wolf Eyes have built on the aggressive genius that was 'Burned Mind' and bettered it in almost every way. From wrong-footing us with the ambient dronery of 'A Million Years' to the ear shattering maniacal explosion of single 'The Driller' Wolf Eyes have nailed the sound and forged an album which practically defines the genre. Where 'Burned Mind' won over punks, goths and bored rockers with its slashy loudness and demonic sentiment, 'Human Animal' shows that there's more to the band that meets the eye. They have put together a soundtrack to the most depraved torture movie never made, the sound you'd expect to hear while trapped and bound in an abandoned cavern somewhere in the Mid-West waiting for your captor(s) to return with sharpened tools primed for pain. Yet at the same time, there's something crucially experimental, dangerously avant-garde about their crumbling jams - with nods to the spoken word surrealism of Throbbing Gristle, the caliginous distortion of Norwegian metaller Burzum and the early electronic throbbing of Stockhausen or Bernard Parmigiani they have combined many opposing worlds into one thick soup of dirt with a grinning punk aesthetic. Wolf Eyes are one of the most crucial bands of the 21st century, they have summed up all of our dashed hopes, fears of the future and dangerous apathy and made it scream louder than you could possibly imagine. Let's show them we still care. Utterly essential.