Until this review, the name In the Presence of Wolves was unfamiliar. Now, during the course of this review, it is hard to imagine a band this good not being known by a wider audience for the fantastic music they produce. The Philadelphia, PA based group plays progressive metal that sound like a cross between a livelier, more energetic version of the modern-prog Between the Buried and Me, Coheed and Cambria and progressive metal/rock up and comers (as well as blog favorites) Thank You Scientist. If any of these bands tickle your fancy, you owe it to yourself to check out In the presence of Wolves. If that’s not enough to convince you, perhaps a breakdown of this concept EP’s tracks will lead you be a tad more curious.
Ever press send on an important email only to glance it over and find a glaring typo? That’s roughly how I felt when the name “Colin Webster” popped in my head right after we published our second Jazz Quarterly of the year. For those unaware, Webster is a prolific saxophone madman whose constantly challenging his instrument and ever-widening group of collaborators (for more on Webster, read Bandcamp’s excellent piece on him, Travis Laplante and other essential modern saxophonists). With Webster’s name in mind, I reluctantly pulled out my phone over my morning cup of coffee and checked his Bandcamp. I knew full well I’d find a new, exceptional album worthy of inclusion in our latest Jazz Quarterly, and sure enough, Molar Wrench fits this description perfectly. The four-track maelstrom pits together sax, percussion and electronics for abrasive free jazz that’s harboring a voyeuristic obsession with noise.
I love hearing the influence of bands I already love in new music. Maybe The Cartographer weren’t necessarily thinking of Fear Factory when they wrote “Vultures”, but that’s kind of what I’m getting. Taken from their Human Error EP released last year, we’ve got the video premiere for this groovy beast of a track. With consumer tastes in “proper” metal changing so rapidly, it’s nice to have a band to remind people that certain sounds are always satisfying. It’s groovy and it’s heavy and it will damn well make you bang your head.