Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Julie of the Wolves "Create/Destroy"

I was in a total slump looking for a new punk record when Noise Pollution sent me Julie of the Wolves debut album “Create/Destroy.” Practically a Louisville super-group, the four-piece consists of bassist Salena Filichia, drummer Becca Lindsay, and the seamless guitar/vocal duo Stephanie Gary and Carrie Neumayer, representing between the four of them:  Madame Machine, The Frequent Sea, Second Story Man, Venus Trap, Minnow, and The Red Nails. Before playing the album, I was already familiar with Carrie’s guitar playing in Second Story Man, but this record shows another side of her that I didn’t know existed.
            When the album opens into its title track with a smooth guitar riff reminiscent of the strokes on “Is This It,” only to be abandoned for a heavily emphasized punk beat with bar chords. The group demonstrates their command of dynamics as the opening riff is re-introduced just before the song’s climax to chant “Art destroys apathy.”
“Sum of Your Parts,” is a heavily bass driven song complimented by almost doo-wop guitar riffs that would easily fit in the soundtrack of one of Vincent Price’s movies from the 80’s. Selina Filichia’s basswork is strong on the whole album, but it really stands out on this track, where it saunters back and forth from a subtle shred during the verses to a menacing foreground during the bridge. I can only speculate what kind of bass she’s actually using on the recording, but the one in the “Create/Destroy” video (below) has three sets of double-coil lipstick tube pickups, which is impressive in and of itself.
The climax of the album is “The Things They Say.” During the chorus Stephanie and Carrie create a sonic wall that I’m pretty sure is eighty feet tall and completely impenetrable. The last two songs “Youth Wish” and “S.Y.L.M.F.” achieve an almost surf-punk style calling out the hangers-on and the dishonest. The opposition and aggression on the whole album are so personal and blatant that it seems possible for it all to be directed at one person. If so, I feel bad for that person.

Create/Destroy was produced by Julie of the Wolves and Trip Barriger and is available on November 1st through Noise Pollution.

out 10/12/13 is Straight A's Humility The Hard Way
with cover art by Carrie Neumayer and Andrew Paden

1 comment:

Salena Filichia said...

Thanks for the review. The bass in the video is the same one that I recorded with. It is a late 70's BAS-1 from the Borisov factory in Soviet Russia. When I got the thing it had a neck like a 2 x 4, low output pickups and and output jack that was in no way compatible with anything I had ever seen. With the help of Adam Dennison and Ryan Scott I was able to turn it into the crazy machine that it is today.