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Album Review: Wolf & Cub - NIL

20 November 2020 | 2:25 pm | Adam Wilding

"Notably heavier than the groove and psychedelic rock formula from previous albums"

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After seven years of hibernating, Wolf & Cub return with their fourth album, following 2013’s severely underrated Heavy Weight. Remaining original member Joel Byrne is again joined on bass and guitar, respectively, by Wade Keighran and Brock Fitzgerald (both formerly of defunct Sydney band The Scare) and new drummer Jonathan Boulet (yes, THE Jonathan Boulet), who proves he is more than capable with sticks and skins.

The songwriting on NIL is notably heavier than the groove and psychedelic rock formula from previous albums. Lead track Blue State marries the best of both, its dark and dancy hook delivering where it’s needed. Distortion and overdrive is piled on consecutive tracks Level, Close To The Edge and concluding in Witch Trials, as this trilogy of songs takes the band way out of their comfort zone of the past, culminating in the thrashy Losing Touch. It’s not all heavy though, as zen moments such as Nil Desperandum can be found here and there. Likewise, Desperate lends itself to a bass-heavy, King Krule-esque Dum Surfer vibe.

This version of the band sounds free from the worry of expectation and aspirations that may have been attached to pressure on earlier works, and although on first appearance NIL doesn’t break any new ground for the band, cumulative returns arrive with repeat listens.