(By Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker, Senior Writer/Journalist, RiffRelevant.com)
Somehow I missed the manifestation of the RVA band HEWOLF within the last year or so.
That realization came as a shock to me too, for a couple different reasons. The first of which is the fact that former Alabama Thunderpussy / The Medusa singer Johnny Throckmorton is the vocalist and guitarist for the band. Being a big fan of Throckmorton myself, I’d been wondering what had become of The Medusa as things kind of went black after their Doomstone Festival appearance in 2016.
Evidently that project is over and now, Johnny is aligned with Paul Burnette (bass & vocals, ex-Darkest Hour) and former Crackhead / Joyburner drummer Eric Josephson within HEWOLF.
The trio released a self-titled EP in 2017 that must have kind of flew under the radar, I surmise. Alas, fear not though for I am including it here (bottom of this page) as well, along with the release that brings us here, the band’s newest offering, the “Live For Minimum Wage” EP.
The EP was recorded, mixed, and mastered over 3 days just last month (March) in Richmond, VA. at Minimum Wage Recording Studio – hence the name – by Lance Koehler.
So, are you formulating ideas of what you expect HEWOLF to sound like, assuming you have not heard them previously of course, and based on what info I’ve shared thus far? To be honest, they don’t sound anything like what I speculated after Johnny’s former ATP bandmate and my friend, Erik Larson (Backwoods Payback, Roy Batty), clued me in to their existence recently.
There’s a clearly undeniable punk / alternative rock vibe permeating the music of HEWOLF‘s latest EP. A bit grungy at times, while other moments are massively metallic in content too. There are definite connections that can be made to bands like Local H, Foo Fighters, Quicksand and the like.
That said, the appeal to the HEWOLF material is the raw, visceral feel of it as a song such as the chugging “Filthy Heartbeat” is an uptempo scorcher. Straightforward, driving sections are bolstered by melodic nuances and laid back vocals.
Other cuts see HEWOLF cutting loose, ones like “Bon Scott Rollercoaster” and “Shoulder On The Wheel” are laced with chunky riffs and solid rhythms. The trio always keep things close to the vest and tight knit, they avoid any undue bells or whistles.
I found myself really digging this effort’s last track, one with the call-out for a title, “Prove It“. Fuzzy guitar and piston-like drums propel the number, one with plenty of angst and ballsy attitude to spare. It definitely ends things on a metal-laden high note, that’s for damn sure.
There you have it, friends! Maybe you were already hip to HEWOLF, maybe you weren’t, but whichever, the rest is now up to you. Check out our streaming embed of their new EP, “Live For Minimum Wage“, above or you can head HERE where it is currently an NYP (Name Your Price) item at Bandcamp.
An added note, HEWOLF will be playing a FREE show in RVA with ROY BATTY (featuring Erik Larson) and CB/BJ (featuring another ATP alumni, Bryan Cox) at Champion Brewing Co. on April 26. Find more info HERE.
HEWOLF 2017 S/T EP: