Wolf Eyes – Burned Mind

After releasing a mass of tapes, LPs, CDs and CD-Rs over the years primarily through band members’ own Hanson Records/American Tapes, Burned Mind is Wolf Eyes’ first full-length on the Sup Pop label.

Musically, the three Wolf Eyes (Young, Dilloway and Olson) are difficult to place. With all sorts of instruments and electronics at their disposal, the band takes what would seem to be an ‘anything goes’ approach in doing what they do. Working somewhere within experimental or avant-garde territory, some have aligned the band with seminal industrial act Throbbing Gristle (in regards to template or blueprint if not entirely sound). Whitehouse is also mentioned occasionally here.

But with the signing to indie rock mainstay Sup Pop and the recent tour with Thurston Moore, the band has been receiving attention as of late from the indie rock crowd. Not always with the two seeing eye-to-eye, however. The unpredictability and potential brutality of Wolf Eyes has proven at times to be more than the usual melody-loving indie fan had bargained for (evidenced in recent album reviews and show reports in addition to first hand experience of early dismissals at performances as well as witnessing one attendee go into voluntary convulsions).

Given such accounts, what it is that makes the honest, volatile and challenging music of Wolf Eyes appealing to some but not to others? Perhaps it is easy to over-intellectualize this question: direct experience may be the best way test for yourself. Being that Burned Mind is one of Wolf Eyes more accessible albums in recent years, both in terms of availability through the larger label and in terms of listenability, it might be a good place to start if you’re looking to explore the Wolf Eyes discography.

artist: Wolf Eyes
label: Sub Pop Records
details: 9 tracks (plus 1 hidden), 42 min. 2004 [SPCD 638]