There’s definitely something druggy and defiant to be found on W, the new three-track seven-inch from Vancouver’s Three Wolf Moon. An exuberant rock outfit, in the psychedelic-folk mode, Three Wolf Moon is a five-piece band benefiting from the fact that its members play proficiently in other acts, including Best Revenge, Black Wizard and If We Are Machines.
Getting in to W with no exposure to this band previously, but recognizing the pedigree to which Three Wolf Moon is culled from, it’s no surprise to find some familiar quirky cues cited by these stalwart psychonauts. There’s a searching, guitar-driven prog appreciation, a la the Mars Volta, especially in the sprawling, “Water/Wine,” which is tethered to a balls-out rock ‘n’ roll excess, akin to Live at the Roxy-era Jane’s Addiction. With vocals that tend to have a coo and purr reminiscent of Perry Farrell, the Jane’s influence is certainly the most standout. But what does it matter? A little theatricality and emotive resonance in the psych-rock template yields, in this instance, some pleasant results.
The second track, “Wetbrain,” has a folky influence, and the Farrell-like coo of Adam Grant morphs into something more Shannon Hoon-approved. It might suggest that Three Wolf Moon are creating a predictable mishmash of psych folk rock prerequisites (like Blind Melon before them) but what they’re really doing, and what W proves on each track, is giving the genre a shakedown and a much needed shot in the arm. The double drum beat-down, dished out by Max Grant and John Sayer on the closer, “The Worst,” further illustrates the fun that can be had within the psychedelic sphere.
So long as Three Wolf Moon keep their sense of adventure and humour—they are, after all, named for an ironic, geek-chic t-shirt phenomenon—forthright and upfront they might be around for awhile. W, though brief, begets full-scale beguilement and a zip of ambient enchantment.