Courtesy: Roadrunner Records
Rock band Joyous Wolf has been making quite the name for itself since first breaking out last year. The band has released a handful of singles and is currently making its way across America with Buckcherry. With each new step, Joyous Wolf’s name keeps getting even bigger, and on Friday, the excitement over the band reached its peak as the band released its debut EP Place in Time through Roadrunner Records. The almost half-hour record is an interesting offering in that the seven songs that make up its 27-minute run time lend themselves stylistically to bands, such as Pearl Jam, Seven Mary Three and Soundgarden, just to name a few bands. One could even argue that there are comparisons to Buckcherry present at points in the EP, too. Keeping in mind that wide range of sounds, the record’s musical content alone is certain to generate a wide appeal for the record. The album’s lyrical content does just as much to make the record appealing. The record’s opener ‘Had Enough’ is just one of the songs that serves to illustrate those statements. It will be addressed shortly. The EP’s title track is another notable addition to its whole, and will be addressed a little later. ‘Mother Rebel,’ the EP’s penultimate entry, is yet another song that serves to show how the record’s musical and lyrical content collectively keep listeners engaged and entertained. When it is considered along with the other songs noted here and the rest of the EP’s compositions, the whole of Place in Time becomes a work that is certain to carve out its own place in today’s rock and roll realm.
Joyous Wolf’s debut EP Place in Time is a good first effort from the up-and-coming California-based rock and roll outfit. It is a record that is certain to appeal to its target audience through its straight forward rock and roll arrangements and equally accessible lyrical content within each of its seven songs. The EP’s opener ‘Had Enough’ is just one of the ways in which the noted statements are proven. The song’s mid-tempo 4/4 arrangement is everything that any active rock radio programmer looks for. That is proven with the steady time keeping from drummer Robert Sodaro. Sodaro’s work forms the song’s foundation while guitarist Blake Allard adds his own touch to the song with his classic-rock influenced riffs. Front man Nick Reese’s vocal delivery and sound meanwhile lend themselves to comparisons to the likes of Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and the late Soundgarden front man Chris Cornell. Bassist Greg Braccio puts the finishing touch to the arrangement, bringing everything together in one whole. All things considered, the song’s arrangement creates a sound and feel that is certain to have wide-ranging appeal. It is just one part of what creates that appeal. The confidence in the song’s lyrical content adds to that appeal.
Reese sings in the song’s lead verse, “Reminisce/I won’t miss/How they’ve made me shiver/I’ll admit/I know this of myself/Won’t submit/Hypocrite/Or at least consider/I don’t fit/I don’t walk with this crowd.” He continues in the song’s chorus, I’m a man/Now I’m gonna light you up/Taking over/Gonna let it all go/Had enough/I’ve shut you up/Why don’t you just go home/Had enough/I’ll shut you up/Why don’t you leave me alone/I’ve had enough/So I’ve shut you up.” He adds in the song’s second verse, “Counterfeit/It’s a trip/Not a true contender/But it’s a lovely place to raise your kids/Bottle it/Cradle it/ The elite pretenders/And I swear you won’t fool me again.” He even goes so far as to tell someone, “why don’t you drop dead” in the song’s third verse. It is clear that the song’s subject has had enough of someone(s) through these verses, and is voicing that frustration here. The fire in that voiced frustration couples with the fire in the song’s arrangement to make the whole a work that is a strong first statement from the band in this record. It makes the song just one of the works that makes the EP in whole stand out, too. The record’s title track is one more example of what makes Joyous Wolf’s new EP stand out in this year’s field of new EPs.
‘Place in Time’ stands out in part due to its musical arrangement. The arrangement at the center of this nearly four-minute rocker is a steady, driving composition that conjures thoughts of Buckcherry and touches of Led Zeppelin just to name a couple of acts with similar sounds. That’s not a bad thing either. Unlike with some other bands out there *coughs Greta Van Fleet* the similarity here is not a blatant rip off of the songs that seemingly influenced this work. Rather they served as a starting point for the band to craft its own opus. Keeping this in mind, the song’s arrangement in itself does plenty to keep listeners engaged and entertained. It is just one of the elements deserving of attention here. The song’s lyrical content is just as important to its whole as its musical arrangement.
What makes the song’s lyrical content stand out is that it comes across as presenting a theme of self-confidence and realization, so to speak. That is partially evident in the song’s lead verse, in which Reese sings, “I’m growing up/I’m growing out/I’m gonna write just what my story’s about/Picture me in my own world/Picture me/Live how you want to live/You want to live/I want to live/In my place and time.” He is saying he has become his own person, adding people in general should be their own individuals. He adds in the song’s second verse, “I’m reaching in/I’m feeling down/Too many people bitching/They don’t even use their mouths/Picture me in my world/Live how you want to live/I want to live/In my place in time.” He goes on to repeat that final statement time and again following the song’s bridge, reminding listeners to live for themselves. It’s not the first time – again – that any band has promoted individuality. That aside, it still manages to translate well in this case. At the same time, it also manages to resonate well with listeners because of that accessibility. When this is considered along with the radio ready nature of the song’s arrangement, both elements together make the song yet another example of why Place in Time is a strong new offering from Joyous Wolf. It is hardly the last example of what makes the record stand out. ‘Mother Rebel’ is another notable addition to the EP.
‘Mother Rebel,’ the EP’s penultimate song, is another example of what makes Place in Time a strong first offering from the band. Much like ‘Had Enough’ stands out in part because of the song’s arrangement, so does this work. Right off the bat, the song’s arrangement conjures thoughts of Seven Mary Three’s hit song ‘Cumbersome’ thanks to Allard’s work on guitar and Sodaro’s work behind the kit. The two arrangements, while not exact musical mirror images of one another, are eerily similar. Whether that is good or bad is left up to listeners’ own thoughts. What sets the two apart is the addition of the southern rock edge to the arrangement in ‘Mother Rebel.’ Keeping that in mind, the arrangement still works and will appeal to listeners, despite that close similarity to Seven Mary Three’s song. It is just one part of what makes the song stand out. The song’s lyrical content serves to make it stand out, too.
The song’s lead verse reads, “Stone free/Maybelline/Writes it her way/I’m told that’s insane, yeah/The ancient came to you/Right beside the rebel lead/Somebody better know how you sting/Then the people started talking/Seems the rebs weren’t very keen/On what you wrote inside a binding/Stressed belief.” The song continues in its second verse, “Yeah, there she goes/Break through Mrs. Brave/Hold them to the mark/Only you could go light that spark now/But oh those boys/They walk with malice/And not a one would walk without us/You now it’s all about what you have got/Then the people started marching/Men in gray and blue were border bound/For what was right/They thought was wronging/Kill your brother and friends.” It would seem that in considering all of this, the song focuses on the female spies of the civil way, or maybe even one in particular – one Sarah Emma Edmonds, who was a spy for the Union troops. Of course all this could be completely off the mark, so it should not be taken as anything more than this critic’s own interpretation of the lyrics. If it is at least somewhere in the proverbial ballpark, then it certainly makes for a very interesting topic. It would make the band hardly the first ever to mix history and music. That aside, it still makes for an interesting song in its own right. To that end, whatever the song’s true lyrical them here, the discussion that it is certain to generate through that sole element is more than enough proof of why it is one of the EP’s most notable entries, but still not the last of the record’s most notable works. When it is considered along with ‘Place in Time,’ ‘Had Enough’ and the rest of the record’s entries, the EP in whole proves itself a work that carves its own place (yes, that awful pun was intended) in this year’s field of new EPs.
Joyous Wolf’s new EP Place in Time is a good offering from the up-and-coming rock and roll outfit from California. That is because it balances quite well, elements of class and modern rock and roll for a musical whole that gives it wide appeal. The record’s lyrical themes generate just as much interest as its musical arrangements. Both statements are evidenced in all three of the songs noted here. Much the same can be said of the EP’s other songs not directly discussed here. All things considered, the record is certain to make listeners joyous. Place in Time is available now. More information on Place in Time is available online now along with all of Joyous Wolf’s latest news and more at:
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