Having been fortunate enough to photograph Bad Wolves on 2 previous tours through Dallas, I found an appreciation for Bad Wolves. To be specific, I found Tommy Vext engaging and a hell of a front man. At this point, anyone who follows rock knows the band has replaced Vext with Daniel “DL” Lasckiewicz for Dear Monsters. I won’t get into the “reasons” for the change. It happened, move on and support both as their music dictates. Nothing else matters to me on this.
Given this, I am simply going to go over the music as found on Dear Monsters. Any comparisons will be for style only. Given that, what will the “new” Bad Wolves be? Grunge rap? Harder rock? Screaming? Singing? Enough curiosity, lets hit play.
While I appreciate a lot of Bad Wolves music, I gravitate to songs more melodic in the end. Given that, the first 2 songs off Dear Monsters are simply there to me. Nothing I’m really going to remember or play much. What I do find in the 1st song is what I consider “unnecessary background noise”. It seems haunted by a mix that to my ears comes across as a background static.
Along comes Lifeline and we hit that style I have a natural appreciation for. It’s a good song and DJ’s vocals are smooth and got my attention when I first heard the song. However, that “static” is back. It seems when the song switches to a “harder” beat some form of “noise” dominates and makes it hard to listen to.
And that is a shame as the song itself is good and worth quite a few replays just the same. Lose the overproduction and this is an amazing song. As it sits, it’s still damn good.
WIldfire comes along and we again see the melodic side of DJ in a metal band. Part of me expected a cover tune of the 70s song but thankfully, they didn’t go there and turned in an introspective song that I believe will help define their future growth.
Springfield Summer – the bands first real overall change of pace. Foot tappin, mind trippin into what DJs singing and I can see it happening to me. Been there, done that, felt the same way. The instrumentation or mix in the chorus seems a bit rehashed, like I’ve heard that riff/mix before in almost every other song. Whether the mix or style, it’s a consistent sound through much of the release and I hope that ends next release. The song itself still rises above it and has become a favorite from Dear Monsters.
Skipping quite a few of the songs for you to decide for yourselves, I’ll bring myself to the last song. In the Middle has the fewest listens on Spotify and that is sad. When the band can put it all together they can do “this”. While in other songs the music can come across as the band members fighting to be heard, In the Middle is when they just produce a quality song. Best on the release.
From song to song I do hear some repetition of styles and tones of that linger through almost the entire release. On the whole, it seems the band is still experimenting to find “that mix” and who they want to be when they grow up under the new frontman. All that said, I view this as almost a “do over” first release as musicians will need time and experience to come together to truly find their “sound”.
The future certainly includes Bad Wolves and when they come back through Dallas, I’d love a chance to photograph the band and see how DJ commands the stage as his own. Not sure what I expected from this release, but it’s a positive step forward for Bad Wolves.