Review: BlackWolf – ‘The Hunt’
BlackWolf first caught my ear back in 2012 with the EP “Taking Root”. Tunes like “Seeds” and “Stairway Ticket” were so impressive in their genuine rock and roll soulfulness that I most had to sit up and took notice. I wasn’t the only one. This full-length “The Hunt” was financed by a successful Pledge campaign, proving that this is a band with a devoted fan-base.
If “Taking Root” was hugely promising, the band really delivers on that promise here. Blasting out of your speakers with a seriously tasty, classic rock’n’roll sound shot up with a hefty measure of blues, soul and southern rock, “The Hunt” is a confident and very impressive release. Tracks like the groovy, riffy rocker “Mr Maker”, and the rougher-edged hip-shaker “Keep Moving On” show of the band’s main assests: powerful, heart-and-soul vocals from front-man Scott Sharp; with John Greenhill matching every ounce of that soulful passion on lead guitar.
Greenhill is backed up by rock-solid rhythm guitarist Jason Cronin, and together they bring some real guitar-goodness to The Hunt, adding a rich, luscious rock’n’roll shine to every track. Some excellent examples of that can be found on tracks like the swinging rocker “Dragging Ghosts” – which also shows off Thomas Lennox-Brown’s drumming skills; the passionate “Raised On The Sun”, with Ben Webb’s bass adding to the weight and pull of the track; and the absolutely ripping “Sea Of Mercy” – a knockout tune with blazing hot vocals and guitar.
BlackWolf’s sound seems most firmly rooted in the 1970s – touching down more briefly in the flashier 1980s – and brings to mind acts like CCR, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Who. If you’re looking for contemporary bands mining the same rich, musical vein, look no further than the divine Rival Sons, British rockers The Temperance Movement, and Northern Ireland’s The Answer.
My own favorite track on The Hunt brings to mind another classic band from the ‘70s: the Led Zeppelin-esque “Faith In Me”, flaunting some beautiful acoustic guitar, a softer edge, and what might just be Sharp’s best vocals on the album. There’s a range, force and tenderness in his voice here when its let loose and allowed to soar freely that is just stunning.
Groovy, heavy rocker “Relief” with its heavy riffs, and more fab vocals is another contender for favorite track: this tune has a loose, jamming-in-the-heat-of-the-moment vibe that gives me chills of the best kind. The softer, and still absolutely gorgeous, “Sleepwalking” with its beautiful instrumental intro is also top-notch – and shows what the band can do with a ballad.
BlackWolf has come a long way in a relatively short time, and “The Hunt” proves that they have both the chops, and the drive to go even further. The band is currently touring the UK with The Answer, which sounds like a perfect double-bill to me. Catch them live if you can, and definitely check out “The Hunt” as well.
- Scott Sharp: vocals
- Jason Cronin: rhythm guitar
- John Greenhill: lead guitar
- Ben Webb: bass
- Thomas Lennox-Brown: drums
- Mr Maker
- Keep Moving On
- Moving Mountains
- Faith In Me
- Only Said In Silence
- House Of Emerald Wine
- Raised On The Sun
- Black Hole Friend
- Dragging Ghosts
- Sea Of Mercy
This article is courtesy of Maria Haskins.
Please visit her website Rock And Roll for more!