Album Review
Wolf Am I - Lead The Way Album Cover

Wolf Am I - Lead The Way

Reviewed by
Wolf Am ILead The Way
Record Label: Alcopop Records
Release Date: August 10, 2009
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Lead The Way, Wolf Am I’s first release since changing their name from something less rad than Wolf Am I, ends with the lines, “We’ll take our time to appreciate what’s happening.” A weary gang of dudes delivers the simple line after a soothing lull in the band’s post-hardcore via Brand New stylings, and it quite accurately describes my late-but-fashionable love affair with this British outfit. Even after hearing the band’s impressive sneak peak single Glasgow 7 ages ago, I fought the urge to delve any deeper. (I’ve had the same haircut for 9 years.) But I got super drunk during an episode of Sherlock Holmes (the British series with the positively icy Jeremy Brett) and, you guessed it, investigated. Boy oh boy was this a mystery I was pleased to solve! It wasn’t elementary at all! It was middle school-y!

Speaking of “Glasgow Seven” – I half-mentioned it, way up there before I completely lost your respect – it is the best representation of Wolf Am I’s intense rock formula. Husky vocals murmur the lines, “We’re going to hell for this,” before the groove erupts into a chorus primed for alternative rock stations. Most of Lead The Way’s songs are dark in tone, but the polish added to each track makes them sleek in a non-pop way. You can hear the deep bass pulses with the same clarity as the bending guitar riffs, a detail that serves to induce the sort of anxiety we feel during horror flicks.

“Down At The Golden Cup” displays one of Wolf Am I’s more interesting facets. Mostly due to the band’s savant-like understanding of tension building, it’s usually the verses that become the most noteworthy. It’s not that the hooks aren’t pleasing, for instance “Golden Cup” makes good use of a hooligan-like gang chorus, but the build-ups are just so dramatic. The way they string us on throughout the beginning of “The Good Life (1975)” is almost unbelievable. After a minute of simple strumming and fast-paced sing-speaking, a hearty manscream becomes the song’s entrance into jittery uncertainty. What rock really needs is a sense of urgency, and Wolf Am I push us faster and faster throughout Lead The Way. Since the band recorded this album themselves and then shopped for a label, it became that much easier to cram each style and nuance into the album’s 11 songs (i.e. the warbling guitars of instrumental “Armageddon, Come” that become an 80’s-meets-Moving Mountains hybrid). Nothing is missing because nobody said, "No." Novel.

When trying to think of a better straightforward rock album from last year - a style I admittedly shy away from now since I am hip and also have old man ears - I can scarcely think of one. You could take that negatively: The genre is not my forte so what do I know? Or you can take it positively: The genre is not my forte yet Lead The Way still makes me wet my pants. Decision time.

Recommended If You Like: Brand New, Anberlin after puberty, gigs, Bayonets, pigs

Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 19
01:15 AM on 01/29/10
Lets get these people moving faster
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StartAngry&Mad's Avatar
As always, an entertaining read, AND I'm curious to check them out, mission accomplished Mr. Solomon
05:15 AM on 01/29/10
it ain't me, babe
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DanEmo's Avatar
love this alum, one of my 2009 top 10 albums
07:19 AM on 01/29/10
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sean-reid's Avatar
This album is brilliant. I've been a big fan of it for months and just gave it another listen this morning funnily enough.
07:20 AM on 01/29/10
Reckless Abandon
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dom_182's Avatar
Check out Bon Voyage from this album. The whole record is good, but for me that is definitely the standout track. Massively catchy chorus.
07:51 AM on 01/29/10
Heaven Sent
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ffadam's Avatar
love this alum, one of my 2009 top 10 albums
Pretty much hit the nail on the head.

The lyrics on this album are really good too.
10:06 AM on 01/29/10
the other Kyle.
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MorningStar10's Avatar
'For every Elvis there is a thousand screaming life is so cruel'

One of my AOTY for 2009, they kept all the good elements of Kill the Arcade but the song writing and musical ability got even better, great great album.
02:54 PM on 01/29/10
Registered User
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DataSelectParty's Avatar
how this band aint been snapped up for bigger and brighter things i'll never know.
if only i win the lottery........
08:38 PM on 01/29/10
sowing season
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princesschad's Avatar
(and shadow)
12:04 AM on 01/30/10
It's my mistake to make.
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10:11 AM on 01/30/10
We never met, you and I
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awakeohsleeper's Avatar
So I'm guessing they're named after the mewithoutYou song?
01:39 PM on 01/30/10
Wolf I Am!
AWW spelled Wolf Am I!
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Wolf I Am!'s Avatar
my name is very similar...?
03:21 PM on 02/01/10
Grammercy Riffs
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No Avatar Selected
Interesting review - sounds like I should be checking this out!
10:42 AM on 02/02/10
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sean-reid's Avatar
I maybe wrong but I think the whole album can be heard on their myspace. It was last time I checked a few days ago.
01:25 PM on 02/02/10
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
One of my favorite bands

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