Nov 29, 2006

The Wolf's Back

I’ve been gone for a long time while I moved and worked on other projects, including today’s mix. Much has been made of the popularity of band names featuring wolf or wolves. I’ve included a couple less popular ones in today’s mix.

I wanted to focus on songs related to wolves. Some of these tracks are from 2006’s best metal/hardcore albums (Converge’s No Heroes, The Sword’s Age of Winters) and a few more are from recent releases from similar artists (Dillinger and Queens, respectively). The seemingly random wolf reference seems fitting for bands who find at least part of their inspiration in 70s hard rock, when having a growling wolf airbrushed on the side of your van would have been the height of coolness.

Some of the more mellow tracks seem to use the wolf as an archetypal figure. In Magnolia Electric’s “Talk to Me Devil, Again,” Jason Molina croons, “I talked to the wolf in the mountain.” Molina has used the wolf figure throughout his career to refer to a sage-like authority figure, his pagan god. TV on the Radio use the wolf as a symbol humanity’s careless or destructive side. Queens of the Stone Age play with the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing cliché.

Regardless of their approach to the noun, each song—perhaps with the exception of Wolf & Cubs’s “This Mess”—in the mix is somehow chilling, whether fast and cutting (We Are Wolves’s “Little Biros”), or slow and creeping (Devendra Banhart’s “Hey Mama Wolf”). References to wolves or, in the case of The Sword and Banhart, actual wolf howls add to this effect.

Someone’s into Wolves Mix

  1. The Sword “Winter’s Wolves”

  2. TV on the Radio “Wolf Like Me”

  3. Cat Power “Werewolf”

  4. Wolf & Cub “This Mess”

  5. Mastodon “The Wolf is Loose”

  6. Converge “Lonewolves”

  7. Cocteau Twins “Wolf in the Breast”

  8. Magnolia Electric Co. “Talk to Me Devil, Again”

  9. We Are Wolves “Little Biros”

  10. The Dillinger Escape Plan “Sunshine the Werewolf”

  11. Queens of the Stone Age “Someone’s in the Wolf”

  12. Devendra Banhart “Hey Mama Wolf"

Remember, if you enjoy any of the songs here, please learn more. Buy an album or digital track, or better yet, go to a show. It’s important to support good music.