Rhythm & Views

We Are Wolves

Montreal's We Are Wolves (Nous Sommes Loups in French) mix an analog synth, guitars and drums into elemental dance punk that is snotty, gritty and wicked. The synth boils and thickens; the guitar stirs; the vocals holler, and the whole damn cauldron turns into something deliciously evil.

"Vosotros, Monstruos" is industrial stripped bare; "We Are All Winners" embraces its New Wave cheesiness by adding cheers and as much fuzzy synth as possible; and "Snare Me" pairs the traditional sex-crazed punk vixen with No Wave hooks. "Little Birds" makes use of the whining buzz that permeates the song by layering it over a fast, duotone melody and a chorus containing an "oh, baby baby." "La Nature" features an overdriven chorus of "I really love nature!" sounding as if it echoes through a dark forest crawling with carnivores, and "Non Stop" has video-game guns firing in the background. Each song twists something unmusical into the kind of music that the old folks would call voodoo.

While it may be true that many bands are doing this sort of contemporary remodulation of '80s dance music and '70s punk, some bands infuse their version with more authenticity and spark than others. We Are Wolves travels back on the same branch of music history as The Faint, but their concoction is thick, warm and wields strange powers: derivative, yes. But unoriginal--never.

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