[one_half last=”no”]
Ghost Beach - Blonde Cover

[one_half last=”yes”]CUB & WOLF
Cub & Wolf

Release-Date: 16.01.2014
Label: Stargazer

01. Be Gone My Friends
02. Time To Mourn At Last
03. Clues
04. Standing Tall While Falling Down
05. Where The Two Of Us Fall In Love
06. Part You Part Me
07. River Of Blood
08. What Went Wrong
09. What We Lost In The Fire

NBHAP Rating: 4/5


Two friends, a studio, and a bottle of…

Stargazer Records gathered a nice asset of alt-country/ folk rock bands from Malmö during the past years: BRING THE MOURNING ON, FALLEN TREES or GOLDEN KANINE and GRANT CREON. From the latter two bands come Linus Lindvall and Mattias Larsson, two friends whose musical paths crossed a few times already. They both admit that  CUB & WOLF came into life more or less just for fun. When having off from their bands, they used to hang out in Mattias’ own studio. From dusk till dawn they didn’t just achieve a hangover occasionally, but probably also a new song. Other tunes were born previously, but didn’t fit into their existing bands. So, how do these nine debut songs – five by Linus and four by Mattias – sound like?

From barely more than a whisper to blast folk – dynamics, baby!

It starts with two great tracks, Be Gone My Friends and Time To Mourn At Last, both climaxing from a simple banjo tune or glockenspiel and calm vocals by both Linus and Mattias to crazy howl-along power folk hymns. That’s what  CUB & WOLF seem to be best at and when you see them perform live, that’s also where they apparently have the most fun playing together. But it’s the great dynamic range that makes this record worth listening as a whole, especially on vinyl. But they also have a couple of worthwhile songs with quite sparse instrumentation onboard. Check out the hauntingly beautiful Part You Part Me or the hypnotizing What We Lost In The Fire, which has a simple but great video clip that we featured earlier on. The calmer songs breathe the air of JASON MOLINA or BONNIE ‘PRINCE’ BILLY musically, whereas the lyrics mostly seem familiar from GRANT CREON’s last masterpiece In Denial, dealing with themes such as loss and separation.

A momentary lapse…

There are just a few weaker spots on this album, probably inevitable when making a record with such a spontaneous approach. They sound best when they’re either howling loudly or when wailing dolefully. Maybe that’s why the quite even and unspectacular Clues doesn’t work so well or why the drumming in What Went Wrong, done by Per Nordborg (GOLDEN KANINE, BRING THE MOURNING ON), sounds a little too pre-eminent at times within a song that’s overall more on the calmer side. However, there are moments when the remains of improvisation sound very refreshing in a positively monotonous way: Where The Two Of Us Fall In Love works fine with its several vocal layers and repetitions.

Give them a few years more together and CUB & WOLF will be your best address for powerful folk hymns of melancholy that actually can be enjoyed.