Werewolves at Hour 30 – Black Denim (October 1, 2017)
By: Coren E. McLeod
Werewolves at Hour 30 (WAH30) about to Drop New album “Black Denim “on October 1st
Let me be honest here: I have been doing this whole “music scene” for about 2 years now. I get asked a lot about songs and albums sent to me to be reviewed. I try to get to them all and to give my journalist’s opinion. I have heard some lackluster music and I have heard some that has blown my mind.
There is no other album I have been looking forward to the most than from my favorite local Chicago guys than Werewolves at Hour 30 (WAH30) to come out with their triumphant follow up to their 2015 Self-Titled EP. I have found WAH30 to be the vegan frosting to my organic carrot cake. I love this band in more ways than one. Not only have they brought me in as a good friend; they have also trusted me to be honest and fair.
Now, this may sound as though they are automatically going to get a raving review about their new album “Black Denim” dropping on October 1st. Yet, I need to be bold, sincere and most of all, the music fan they have fallen in love with to give an honest review. That is me… Coco McLeod….
Considering the countless number of shows I have been to see these new songs being performed live; one thing I truly find magical about WAH30 is the chemistry they possess among each other. James with his model good looks, charming charisma and smooth rhythm guitar skills sends many into a frenzy while belting out songs with his manly voice. Anthony lures behind his massively thick hair, a vintage tee and sharp almost hypnotizing riffs only he can orchestrate on his Les Paul. Art with his fancy hat, mindful craft skills and cat like reflexes banging on the drums almost seems like he is putting out fires. (Pun intended…) Andrew, to me, is one of the most dedicated bass players in the biz. His stage performance ranges from total wallflower to an all-out thrilling dance party he is having within his own head.
“Black Denim” brings on a new WAH30. According to Art: “We (WAH30) took a very Do it yourself approach to recording this album. We recorded it in our 12 ft. by 14 ft. rehearsal space. The vocals were recorded in a spare bedroom in my apartment. The goal was to capture the raw tones of each instrument pushing air into the carefully placed recording microphones.”
I had the great pleasure of listening to this album. I have listened to it a few hundreds of times. Let me just say WAH30 does a phenomenal job of keeping it real with raw, emotional lyrics with pretty hardcore riffs and powerful drums only a true fan can appreciate. I want to say their 1st EP was more of a party anthem. WAH30 were young pups at the time. “Black Denim” dives deep into the mind of a man that has lived life and experienced the hardships of adulthood. Whether it is your 1st love or taking a trip beyond your world, you will feel every emotion James is extracting with his vocals.
Take for example the song “Terrible Man…” “I am just a Terrible Man. But, I am the man for you…” This makes think of Johnny from Highly Suspect has done with his song “Little One…” “I justified my pain through this song.” We have all been in those relationships which are not right yet we think we need to hold on to the bad. “Terrible Man” brings that to the surface and you must learn in your own way whether to hold on or to just let go. I promise you: If you are not taking a shot of Jameson after hearing “Terrible Man” because it has conjure up some sort of evil spirit; you have no soul. And you must leave…. #Justsaying
I seriously love the beginning of the belt pounding, smoking hot song, “Gave It All Away.” It gets you off your ass and you start to dance. Tony hits on all the right notes and you can just tell he is having a great time. Andrew’s bass playing is on full display within this song and I can say it is brilliant. Layer on top of layer, Andrew brings an element of smooth jazz mixed with a high dose of funk only he can provide. Thank you Andrew!!!! I am so a Chicago girl and I love all the references to the Windy City WAH30 gives to this great city.
“Get Your Head Straight” has a soulful start up and a smooth riff. It slowly builds up to what turns out to be a favorite among the guys. James literally sounds like he is howling while Art provides a heavy beat that reminds a lot of Chad Smith from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Again, mindful lyrics play a key factor in this song. Pay attention or you may miss it.
One last song that I have fallen in love with is “He Won’t Get Your Soul.” Yes. This album is done by dudes. Yet, chicks can totally relate on every level. “He may have your body. But, he will never get your soul…” How fucking deep is that? To be willing to let your psyche get that emotionally deep is just pure talent and I applaud WAH30 to not be afraid to go that extra mile. Bravo boys!
Overall, WAH30’s new album “Black Denim” gives you taste of what is real, what is now and what is by far an effort made by some boys looking to “just play music…” But, I know it is more than that. True skills at its peak and it only gets better. #Cheers to WAH30!!!!!