Berlin's Werewolf Police have added another impressive weapon to their arsenal, continuing to build on the driving lo-fi rock foundation of last year's “Vulture Club EP”. Their latest full length release, “The Moderation Blues” packs a mean punch, all the while possessing an unrelenting soothing quality, resulting in a seamless balance of hard rock and pop that’s bound to keep anyone engaged.
For those familiar with Werewolf Police’s last EP, differences between the two releases become apparent immediately. Upon first listen, the most striking transformation is how much less emphasis the synths hold in “The Moderation Blues”, in favor of a much more guitar-driven sound. This accounts for, in part, the more rocking, dynamic vibe heard on the album. While the synths on “Vulture Club” were certainly able to provide variety and were very well executed, it’s definitely a treat to see a band establish to a more organic sound. What’s more is the brilliant use of guitar effects used on tracks such as “Almost Heavy” and “Solid Gold”, where the combination of a super wet chorus and a deep wah take these tunes to a whole new level, nearly taking on the role of the synths on “Vulture Club” but in an entirely new way. Both of these songs evolve into extremely catchy heavy hitters by creating a peculiar blend of dream pop and indie rock.
The title track offers some of the most vivid guitar-vocal harmonies the album has to offer, which is certainly a theme the band establishes with consistent aptitude. After a laid-back, head-bobbing verse the track explodes into a distorted guitar solo and creates one of the heavier sounds the band has to offer. The vocal tone works perfectly for this kind of tune as the almost droning sound mixes well with the distorted guitar tones. The subtle distortion employed on the vocals really works to bring out the great lo-fi sound the band is keen on forming.
The title track then leads into what is perhaps the most upbeat song on the album, “Too Many Holidays”, allowing contrast to act as the perfect transition. The track showcases the band’s ability to combine clean and dirty guitar tones to bring about a full spectrum of sound. The upbeat nature of this track along with the lyrics does well to drive home the message of the album: to discourage anything be done in moderation.
“The Moderation Blues” is by no means a departure from “Vulture Club”, but rather an expansion of it. The catchy hooks and intricate vocal melodies are more present than ever, and the ability to do so with such creative guitar lines is certainly a plus. Definitely check this release out if you like distorted guitars, catchy pop, and a distinct lack of moderation.