This week’s weird band was suggested by one of our newest readers (at least we hope he actually reads this site; he might just look at the pictures and yell “Party!” a lot): Andrew W.K. Andrew sent us a tweet last month in which he name-checked a bunch of bands we haven’t covered yet (but hey, dude, we did not forget TG). Turns out Mr. Party Hard knows his weird shit. Pretty much all the bands he mentioned are indeed freaky deaky. But the freakiest of the bunch, in our estimation, has got to be Wolf Eyes.
In a nutshell, Wolf Eyes are a noise band from Michigan, but there’s more to them than meets the bleeding eardrum. A lot of their stuff is so abrasively noisy that even many noise fans can’t really take it. They also go way beyond the usual rock band format of most noise acts, with lots of sax, electronics and non-traditional instruments. If my partner Andy was here, he’d probably describe them as a sort of John Zorn meets Boredoms meets Whitehouse deal, but really, they’re on their own trip. They’re also fucking terrifying. Not in an obvious Saw VI kind of way. More in a “you might actually go insane listening to this” kind of way.
Here’s the other thing about Wolf Eyes: They are stupidly, exhaustingly prolific. In the time it takes you to read this, one or more of the dudes in Wolf Eyes has started a new side project and probably recorded at least five minutes of feedback experiments and backwards tape loops. Their Wikipedia page lists 20 releases in 2006 alone, not to mention an insanely long list of related bands with such awesome names as Have You Seen the Shining?, Scare Supply and The Man Who Ate Himself. These guys eat, breathe and sleep this stuff, and they probably poop D.I.Y. limited-edition cassette tapes.
Random factoid: Apparently this song was featured on an episode of The Office. Which actually makes sense, because in the right context, Wolf Eyes is so over-the-top sonically horrifying that it actually becomes kind of hysterical.
Second factoid: two-thirds of Wolf Eyes, founder Nate Young (that’s him rocking out in the photo above) and sax/electronics guy John Olson, have a newish band called Stare Case. They sound, not surprisingly, a lot like Wolf Eyes.
Third random factoid and then I’ll leave you with the most random, WTF Wolf Eyes video we could find: Nate Young also releases solo material, mostly as part of an ongoing project he calls his Regression series. You can hear a sample of it here. I bet our buddy Richard from Army of Gay Unicorns will be all over this like Mitt Romney on an offshore bank account.
Okay, here’s that random video I promised you. They’re like the world’s most avant-garde biker gang.
And here’s your reward for making it through all five minutes and 53 seconds of that. No cheating!
- Wolf Eyes official site
- Wolf Eyes on Sub Pop (yes, they were briefly on Sub Pop)
- Nate Young solo stuff
- American Tapes (John Olson’s label)
- AA Records (Nate Young’s label)
- Gods of Tundra (newish Wolf Eyes member Mike Connolly’s label)
- Wolf Eyes on Facebook
- Wolf Eyes on MySpace