I don’t try to hide the fact that I regularly read lots of other Austin music blogs – what some might call our “competitors.” These blogs often turn me on to tons of great local artists, and thus provide material for this site. My favorite of these sites – Austin Town Hall – last week posted this video of the Ghost Wolves that they helped to produce. And of course I was immediately taken with this group: Carley Wolf is a compelling frontwoman, and Jonathan Konya offers a great complement on drums. So I went over to their bandcamp page and picked up the In Ya Neck! EP they released earlier this month.
The Ghost Wolves are comprised of only Konya and Wolf, and their sound is appropriately raw for such a small group. They record with seemingly no overdubs, relying on Wolf’s heavy distortion and Konya’s emphatic drumming to fill out a sound that could have sounded far sparser than it does. Clearly, comparisons to the White Stripes abound: male/female duo, no bass, distorted blues-rock. And they aren’t entirely unwarranted. “Broke Joke” has the feel of some of the Meg/Jack duets like “It’s True That We Love One Another” (which I know also features Holly Golightly), but carries a lot more bite. “The Snake and Jake Shake” is also a pretty straightforward blues, revealing similar influences to the Stripes. Yet the opening two tracks are where the Ghost Wolves really carve out their own exciting sound. “Gonna Live” is a simple bluesy stomp written by the Vulgarians’ Michelle Glaw that builds into a huge, cathartic shout-along by the end. Wolf channels My Brightest Diamond’s Shara Worden on her vocal performance, and the whole thing retains a rootsy feel reminiscent of the video linked to above. “Curl Up and Dye” has a much faster, more vicious feel to it, bordering on punk. These are the two best songs on In Ya Neck!, establishing Ghost Wolves as a blistering force to be reckoned with.
The Ghost Wolves are enjoying a Monday night residency at the Lakeside Lounge in New York City all through September, and will be back in Austin on October 15th at Skinny’s Ballroom (holy shit, that place has been booking great shows recently!). In the meantime, hit up their bandcamp site to get a copy of the EP.