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CD Review: AIDS Wolf – The Lovvers LP

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“A picture says a thousand words,” as the phrase goes. If that’s true, then AIDS Wolf has enough to fill a book. You have to respect a band that isn’t afraid to have ONLY pictures of naked people in their CD booklet and CD cover. You have to give the band more credit when their press photo is in the nude, and their female singer looks pretty damn good.

Their “bare” essentials (pun intended) take on music is an interesting one. The music is filled with high-pitch drones, lots of feedback, and “stripped down” (again) instrumentation. It would fit nicely as the soundtrack to a psychological thriller movie montage. This isn’t a disc I would throw on if I was on a road trip with friends, or playing video games, or any normal day activities. I would throw this on if I was watching a scary movie in a dark room by myself, or during Halloween. It gives me the chills in a freaked out and paranoid way. It’s almost haunting, like I might have nightmares tonight because of this album. AIDS Wolf’s recent release of The Lovvers LPhas found it’s way into my Top 10 “Albums I Really, Really Need To Be In The Mood To Hear” list.

The music is in no way evil though. The lyrics don’t scare me, but that’s because I can’t understand what’s being said at all. I kind of wish I had a lyric sheet; I’m interested in what words are piercing my cerebellum and driving me to insanity. The best way to describe the vocals would be to use the name of the band- it sounds like the singer is a howling wolf who is dying of AIDS. The music is pretty simplistic droney, noise rock; I think I could join the band. In fact, it sounds like 9 year old kids on acid could make this music. Which makes me wonder, isn’t it that much cooler?

I have to give these Canucks a lot of credit though. Arlen Thompson, drummer of one of the biggest NEW bands of 2005 recorded the album. His band name has one word in common with AIDS Wolf, and I’ll give you a hint- it’s not “AIDS.” They have shared the bill with Wolf Eyes, Animal Collective, Death From Above 1979, and Les Georges Leningrad, and got a feature in Spin and CMJ. I wonder what they had to say about AIDS Wolf. “The Lovvers LP” will also be released on vinyl by Skin Graft Records (home of some of the most “out there” music today), which does not surprise me one bit!

One question I have to ask though is why “AIDS Wolf”? There are so many recent bands with the word “Wolf” in their title, and they happen to be from Canada. Maybe AIDS Wolf makes more sense, as they seem to have a fascination with animals and the wilderness. The album starts off with what sounds like a chimpanzee hooting, but who knows? It may just be the singer, as she is able to take on the vocal styling of different animals.

This is one of those albums that really can’t capture the band’s essence. I would say see this band first before picking up the album. Hear it live and try to relive the weirdness through CD. AIDS Wolf plan to tour extensively in 2006 North America and Canada, so be sure to check them out. I know I’ll be in the front row, especially if their nudity transcends their photos and takes shape on stage.

People who are really into avant guarde, experimental music will dig this. Fans of Arab On Radar, The Chinese Stars, Black Dice, Get Hustle, Melt Banana, and bands who drive you to insanity will love this album. If you have 25 minutes to spare, pick up The Lovvers LPand experience AIDS Wolf to the extent your sane mind can stand.

For more information about AIDS Wolf, visit their labels page Love Pump United
Edited: [initials]

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