Released by: Independent
Release Date: March 2nd, 2014
Genre: Soulful Hard Rock’n’Roll
Scott Sharp – Vocals,
Jason Cronin – Rhythm Guitar,
John Greenhill – Lead Guitar,
Ben Webb – Bass,
Thomas Lennox-Brown – Drums
2.Keep Moving On
4.Faith In Me
6.Only Said In Silence
7.House of Emerald Wine
8.Raised On The Sun
9.Black Hole Friend
13.Sea Of Mercy
Another year and another band that has managed to launch a successful PledgeMusic campaign to bring their music to the masses. Ginger Wildheart (arguably the most successful PledgeMusic artist to date) has allowed this “no record company, no problem” style of releasing music to be highly visible in the mainstream and more and more artists are following his approach.
BlackWolf launched their first ever Pledge Music campaign in April 2013 and within several weeks, 100% of target was reached and their debut ‘The Hunt’ is now a reality and hitting the shelves and digital stores in the near future.
‘Mr Maker’ leads the album with a great blues groove and the immediate comparisons to other bands trading the boards at the moment such as Rival Sons and The Temperance Movement are clear. Then Scott Sharp starts to sing and it becomes obvious that BlackWolf will be able to carve their own niche in a heavily populated sector of the 70s, blues and hard rock music genre. On ‘Mr Maker’ Scott shows his amazing vocal range off with the lower end sounding very gravelly, a smokey bar sound of Faces era Rod Stewart or 70’s Who era Roger Daltrey. The higher end of his range then blasts through the roof with visions of Percy at his best with Led Zeppelin.
On ‘Keep Moving On’, John Greenhill gets to shine with some excellent solo work that sees him playing all of the higher notes on frets 12 to 15 just to keep up with the top end of Scott’s vocals.
‘Moving Mountains’ continues the groove led vibe of the album and then on ‘Faith in Me’ we have our first opportunity to see how the band can perform when they dial it all down. With a vocal delivery similar to Brent Smith in Shinedown the track allows the other members of the band to come to the fore as well with wonderful harmonies on “Keep…” before Scott adds “….your faith in me”. The driving rhythm behind the song also has a great feel to it. Understated, clear and a great foot tapper.
The live sound of amps / guitars being plugged open ‘Trouble’ and throaty roars and a great guitar solo combine with the equalizer settings on the hi-fi all going from green to red as drum fills allow Scott to take a breath and howl “heeeeyyeeeeaaaahhhhhhhhhh” at the midpoint.
There is a definite Southern Rock feel to tracks like ‘House of Emerald Wine’ and ‘Raised on Sun’. Similarly although Harold Faltermeyer’s ‘Top Gun Anthem’ springs to mind with the guitar intro on ‘Sleepwalking’ it too settles down into a great Southern Rock track and a tour with bands like Black Stone Cherry and Lynyrd Synyrd would do them no harm in appealing to the right audience and continuing to develop their fan base.
Not wanting to be typecast as southern or retro rock, ‘Black Hole Friend’ has almost ska-like elements to the guitar playing as the band charge through one of the fastest tracks on the album. Definitely one for the live arena to get the crowds moving in unison. The ska-like snippets are notable again with the drumming patterns from Thomas Lennox-Brown on the intro to ‘Relief’.
A fledgling band, BlackWolf have achieved a lot in a very short space of time. They reached the final of the Surface Unsigned Festival Final at the O2 Arena, London in 2012, again at the 2012 Highway To Hell 3 competition in Glasgow and a spot at Hard Rock Hell VI in the UK. As such, the band, clearly no stranger to working hard for what they want, have taken their live experiences and delivered it to the studio where the sound is raw, groove led and a great fit for the current explosion in retro styled music taking influences from the likes of Zeppelin, Muddy Waters, Otis Redding and Skynyrd to name a few.
Written by Adrian