Ten albums in, and Sweden’s Wolfbrigade are showing no signs of slowing down. In 2019 the kings of what they lovingly call ‘Lycanthro Punk’ still sound like a Varukers tribute band to these old ears, but that really doesn’t detract from the ripping fun to be had with this album.
The blueprint is simple; Mix up all the best bits of the mid to late eighties – brit punk and hardcore, thrash and death metal, crust – and then let the fates take the reins. At it’s best, as on the absolutely crushing opening track Sum Of All Vices, this is the most exciting music on the planet. Guitars set to chug, drums pounding away relentlessly, and the barbed wire kisses of vocalist Micke Dahl over the top all combine to create aural delirium.
The trouble might be for some listeners however that there’s little or no deviation from this initial explosion. Tempos and rhythms vary – double kick taking over here, d-beat there, and that’s about it. But you won’t find me complaining about this, oh no. The Wolfman mixes GBH and Motörhead with frankly gargantuan results – Jocke Rydbjer and Erik Norberg might just be the best punk guitar duo doing the rounds right now on the evidence of this track alone – whilst Hammer To The Skull might well be the most appropriately-named track of the year. Possibly.
The Enemy: Reality is a riotously good listen if you still have a soft spot for the glory days of crust and ‘street’ punk. Wolfbrigade are indeed masters of this particular art, and, even though the number of thrills here is directly inversely proportionate to the number of surprises, the power of the music – and that’s what’s most important, right? – is absolutely, incontrovertibly undeniable. Get some Wolfbrigade in yer ears today! You know it makes sense!
The Enemy: Reality is out on November 8th.