It’s painfully, ear-rapingly, clear from listening to Gasp (Grey Earth), the opening track from this debut recording by Dublin-based bastards Wölfbait that they want your blood, your sanity and, fuck it, chuck in your firstborn too.
This is vicious, bludgeoning stuff, somewhat akin to Today Is The Day in a close-quarters prison knife-fight with early Swans: all throbbing low end, battering drums, jagged snarling discord and pained yelling, presided over by an omnipresent ear-worrying buzzing thrum. As an opening statement, well, it’ll put the willies up you and no mistake.
Sludge in the truest form of the term, Wölfbait pile layer upon layer of jarring, disgusting filth atop their base layer of colossal drums and swarming electronics until aural critical mass is well and truly achieved. Distant cousins of noise-rock behemoths Todd and Shit & Shine, these boys disgust and delight with equal measure, giving off the distinct impression that they are wryly fucking with you at all times and there isn’t a goddamn thing you can do about it.
‘ΑΝΤΙΚΡΙΣΤΟΣ ‘ clatters and buzzes along on a tom-driven hardcore beat, like Buzzov-en playing The Pixies ‘Something Against You’, ‘Thrall’ is forcefully cosmic, strobing electronics and distant wailing welded to colossally pissed-off guitar and savage vocalising, and ‘Bile’ is the seething ugly twin to Ministry’s bleakest number, Filth Pig‘s ‘The Fall’.
‘Aftertaste’ glides in on a wave of coruscating feedback and some forceful percussive clatter, coming on like a ramped-up Chrome or a devolved Butthole Surfers, gone feral and cannibalistic, oscillating waves crushing the eardrums, ‘Eyeless Skull (Tuhkakupunki)’ is a pulsating cold-sweat nightmare pile-up and ‘Coffin Horse’ cranks up the dread, offering us a taut, paranoiac take on Raping A Slave-era Swans that drips with violent feedback. That leaves only dread-haunted thirteen-minute closer ‘Hawthorn Rattle’ to provide the coup de grace and finish this shit. Skeletal in the extreme, the track is built entirely around fuzzed-up tolling bass and atmospheric throbbing, almost approaching Locrian in its sense of minimalist menace.
Ireland is having a particularly fertile time right now for purveyors of the aurally horrible and Wölfbait are right at the top of the slagheap, beating off any rivals with a literally shitty stick. With the current unknown status of closest local cousins Drainland, following the departure of Jamie Grimes, it’s a sure bet that Wölfbait are more than capable of filling the gap….if not completely eclipsing ’em, the filthy filthy bastards.
Scribed by: Paul Robertson