Saturday, September 23, 2017    Log in

How To Get Free Backstage Passes

The Keys – Bitten By Wolves

May 2, 2011 by  

Leave a Comment

The Keys  – Bitten By Wolves

NAME: The Keys
ALBUM: Bitten By Wolves
DATE: 2June2011

LABEL: sEE mOSee Monkey Do Monkey Recordings


FIVE WORD REVIEW: Scuzzy pyschedelic flvoured indie rock

LOCATION: Cardiff. Wales

LINE UP: Matthew Evans: Vocals, Guitar Gwion Rowlands: Guitar, Vocals James Bell: Bass Tomos Lewis: Drums Carwyn Ellis: Keyboards, Vocals, Percussion


WHAT’S THE STORY?: After the stir that the 2010 debut mini album Fire Inside caused, Cardiff band The Keys return with their first full length release Bitten By Wolves. Eleven tracks born out of the bands influences and love of 60’s psychedelic flavours and sounds squeezed into their own style of psych-rock. Throughout the album, the mind flits through various moments from the 60’s onwards with different artists being nudged into thought by certain elements of the release.

The title track kicks off the cosmic journey with a deep resonating bass leaping from the static lined distorted production. The intentioned feel distinct on every track giving it a kind of hollow effect and successfully recalling sounds from earlier decades. Some tracks have a less heavy coating but it is always there and on the whole works though towards the end of album I was wanting a fresher more rejuvenated sound. The opener is a slow mover with good mellow vocals, slow but never plodding with the throbbing bass of James Bell making it interesting and the garage type guitar noises of Matthew Evans and Gwion Rowlands engaging. ’16 Horses’ follows and though again of the same tempo the keyboards of Carwyn Ellis lifts it with a lighter almost pop feel. The best two tracks on Bitten By Wolves leap in now and are the best by far. ‘I Tried To Find It In Books’ is a Beach Boys summer sounding scuzzy track with a great piano sound contrasting with the driving bass and the Tomos Lewis drum rhythms. Great track equalled by the deep psychedelic rock from the late 60’s of ‘The Color Red’, kind of Doors meets The Monkees, yes that good honestly, and a track which you find yourself drawn to over all others. The other track that I should add to make a trio of standout tracks is the upbeat ‘Teacher’s Daughter’ with its wild west feel. It was close enough to the Monochrome Set track ‘Cast A Long Shadow’ to be a close cousin of dubious parentage. As ‘Everyone Loves You’ takes its place in the track order I reached the point where I started to want a cleaner production and any dirty sound was just from the instruments only, not that this or subsequent tracks are bad because of it but they are negated from revealing much of the uniqueness that may lay within the songs. Here also marks a turn to a more Stones/Hendrix type flavour which if this is your kind of dessert will be a sweet taste. ‘Crackin’ Up’, ‘When You’re Young’, and ‘Heads Of The Valley’ all flow with the same bluesy approach and though good solid tracks do not veer off in any striking direction.

Bitten By Wolves is an album of greater promise than what it actually delivers I would say and though it is permeated with great gripping basslines, scuzzed up guitars that engage the ear, and harmonics musically and vocally that are sonically satisfying, The Key’s reliance on the distorted sound and production brings a kind of dullness to all but a few exceptions and defeats any efforts to be unique. Saying that the album is still worthy of your time and attention if only for the clues of possible greater things to come.

SOUNDS LIKE: A mash up of The Doors, Beach Boys and Hendrix fused with The Coral

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: You like a dirty scuzzy indie take on retro psychedelia


Submitted By Pete RingMaster



Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

You must be logged in to post a comment.