THE BLOG
02/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

AIDS Wolf Review

AIDS Wolf have been leaders of Montreal's noise scene for several years. Perhaps a result of its magnetically fearsome female front woman, Chloe Lum, and outrageously raucous live performances, the band had gained a considerable hype before dropping its first full length, The Lovvers LP. Despite my proclivity for the genre, the record was a disappointment. The influence of the groundbreaking, highly distinct sound of Arab on Radar was obvious. In fact, there was little on The Lovvers LP to distinguish AIDS Wolf from their predecessors except a marked lack of direction and extended periods of musical masturbation, particularly the eleven-minute finisher, "Some Sexual Drawings."

In 2008, however, AIDS Wolf returned with a much stronger showing on its second full length, Cities of Glass. The Arab on Radar influence is still very much alive in the albums unbelievably dissonant guitar work, but they distinguish themselves with speed and frenetic anger that places them in uncharted territory.

The opening of Cities of Glass second track, "Tied-Up In Paper," begins with naked drums and a disorientingly sharp, piercing, fast-paced riff that is returned to several times during the songs two minute 14-second duration while Chloe's vocals hover above the carnage like a circling vulture. Equally distinct is, "Ch-Ch-Ch-Chatter," where a far slower, but equally dissonant and repetitive guitar line is matched by the front woman's high pitched shrieks, making guitar noise and vocals indistinguishable.

Her singing is, in essence, another layer of dissonance in the form of hysterical warbling. Lyrics are completely incomprehensible over the course the album's ten tracks, eight of which are between two and two and a half minutes in length. The result is a collection of songs that are indistinguishable. Each track is a brutal, highly effective assault, but they do not function as separate parts that form a whole. Still, "Cities of Glass" is well worth checking out. They care desperately and you should too.

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