June Icepick – Bad Wolves

I’ve never really been into rap, but I’ve always been into great music. If you can rap but not make your music nothing BUT rap, ok; I’ll listen. The “public facing” Bad Wolves hasn’t really shown the harder side of Tommy Vext and the band in 2018 really. Radio airplay and all. Remember When, their cover of Zombies, the duet with Diamante Here Me Now, hell we’re headed to some serious melodic rock with an edge. But they do a LOT more I would come to find.

And, didn’t I just say “do something good but don’t make your music nothing BUT one style” I think I set a record for paraphrasing myself in record time but it applies here too.

Bad Wolves can slow it down, be melodic, rap, turn it up to 11 and after shooting (photographing people, photographing!) the band twice and getting a chance to see them within sweating distance, their energy is unparalleled. They combine a lot of different styles but don’t sell out to any given one. They’re honestly the best of these different styles I speak of.

Let me get the bands background out of the way and simply steal the 1st paragraph from their Facebook “About” page.

Bad Wolves aren’t just a band, they’re a sonic wrecking ball that’s destroying everything in their path. The act—which is composed of drummer John Boecklin (ex-Devildriver), vocalist Tommy Vext (Divine Heresy, Snot) as well as guitarists Doc Coyle (ex-God Forbid), Chris Cain (Bury Your Dead) and bassist Kyle Konkiel (ex-In This Moment), may seem like they just exploded onto the scene, but the idea has been percolating in Boecklin and Vext’s heads since 2015.

Tommy Vext - Bad Wolves
Tommy Vext – Bad Wolves

The band came into my life with their cover of Zombies (The Cranberries) getting my attention to be sure. The guys then did something I know I’ve never heard of in 54 years of listening to music and donated all the proceeds to the children of the singer, Dolores O”Riordan. The band was set to collaborate with her and that unfortunately didn’t happen.

The total class move of turning $250k over to her children speaks volumes to the band as passionate people as well as musicians. Total class.

After Zombie, Hear Me Now comes along and the melodic tag was building. You see, up to this point my Bad Wolves experience was merely the radio still. In fact, it wasn’t until their tour coming through Dallas where I got a photo pass for all the bands and loved the fact I’d be checking them out first hand soon.

But I still had not dug deeper into their music. At times I’m such a bad bad iceberg.

Before heading to the pit for our 3 songs, one of the other photographers happened to mention that if the radio was your only exposure, you’re likely to be surprised at the rest of the music.

Tommy Vext - Bad Wolves
Tommy Vext Bad Wolves

Band comes out, camera goes up, and holy hell I think some of the energy from that show is still getting me through these rough days years later. Vexts’ vocals sounded every bit as amazing live as they did on the produced music. New fan here and I was even able to get the elusive “jump” shot. Vext even shared my photo album from that show.

How cool is that, ya know?

Added Disobey to my collection and last year I added Nation when it came out in October. Since this isn’t an Album review in as much as simply a band spotlight on Bad Wolves, I won’t go into song by song analysis. Hell I rarely do that anyway.

The “Heavy as Fuck” sound is still there and the energy powers many smaller 3rd world countries, that is for certain.

As for the overall sound, I go back to they combine many styles and make them all their own. Rap? A little but not rappers. Metal? Yep. But not 100%. Melodic? Yep. Gotta slow it down sometimes to catch your breath for round 2. They gracefully weave in and out and blend the styles together seamlessly from lyric to lyric, chorus to bridge, song to song, passion to passion.

The differentiation from one song to another regardless of the style is the core hallmark of the bands destined for greatness. Bad Wolves mixes the styles within the styles to evolve their sound into something more. One slow song isn’t like the last and their rap blends into melodic differently every time.

Details. Tommy Vext and the band pays a lot of attention to the details and it shows. Time and time again, it shows.

Check out Bad Wolves. I know next time they come through Dallas I’ll be out there begging on a street corner for a photo pass and either way seeing them live every chance I get.

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