I was a bit skeptical about Dead Wolves at first, and I think a lot of that skepticism was in regards to the hype around them. I’d first seen them at The Zoo and to be honest, all I could hear was a wall of white noise because (1). their fans were distracting me and (2). theatrics. Don’t get me wrong, I thought they were theatrics at the time, but now I understand that it’s something else entirely. I saw them play at Rics the other night, along with Dead Joe and Captives. I now have an informed opinion about them which is: THEY KICK ALL SORTS OF BUTTOCKS!!
So Dead Wolves are a foursome consisting of Tim ‘Bones’ Fogarty (vocals), Pat Shipp (guitar), Heath Shipp (bass) and Callum Deed (drums). The Wolves are sort of an offshoot from a few bands and collectively with as much determination as wolves can muster, they began their journey. Their band description on Facebook etc reads a little like a Jim Morrison journal, fantastical and kind of mysterious. But it’s also no holds barred. Can you try to “describe a sunset going down over the ocean to a blind man?” No? With sounds that range from Hard Punk to Psychadelic Rock and Classical music, I’m pretty sure their tunes could describe more than just sunsets.
Now, I think of myself as a lone wolf (it’s literally tattooed on my knuckles), but these four gents have no problem travelling in their pack, gradually amassing a following in little Brisbane that I’m sure can be attributed to their hard work. I’ve seen them play twice now and the energy and action on stage (and off stage) is brutal, and that’s a great thing. I remember standing outside Rics the night they were playing, and I ended up talking to some city slicker about venues he could check out. He asked me who Dead Wolves were and I told him to waltz in and see for himself. He did, and he was impressed, so much so that he called up his mates and told them to join him. It’s nice to be able to inform people about the good bands here, finally, but it’s more of a testament to how good the band is.
How would I describe their music? Hmmmm. I would say, without over thinking it too much, that Dead Wolves produce gritty, fiery, core-driven, primal ROCK, possibly produced in a gin mill. They don’t require extra musicians because I’m quite sure that each musician up there is howling from their soul. And Bones is one of the greater frontmen I’ve ever seen. When his shirt comes off you know it’s time to get dirty and primal, and the added bonus is that he does this with the crowd. Rics was the perfect venue to get acquainted with them because it was up close and personal, and it was almost as if I could smell all that energy emanating from them. It’s kind of spiritual to watch them, and Bones is also a really lovely guy. It’s endearing and a little heart warming to have him remember who you are and to take interest in whether you had a good night or not. There is absolutely NO bullshit or pretentiousness with them. At the end of a set I think you’ll understand just how much hard work and passion they put into each song. Go on, go and watch them, have a yarn and you’ll see. They are not afraid to show you.
So when one talks about the wolf analogy, don’t mistake it for some hipster fashionable logic. Dead Wolves channel the wolf sentiment by encouraging people to think for themselves, to acquire the ability to not give a shit about social expectations, to learn to be part of the pack but to also endeavour on solo journeys. Like I’ve always said to people, “Don’t be sheep, be the wolf.” Life’s better that way. Don’t take my word for it though. Go to a Dead Wolves show, and if you dig them then support them and be a part of the pack. You won’t regret it.