What better way to spend your Sunday night than thrashing along to Salem Wolves‘ newest album, Tooth & Nail at O’Brien’s? The Salem-based group creates raucous tunes that embody the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll: chugging guitar lines, wailing vocal riffs, and an indomitable crash cymbal that keeps time. Playing alongside Atlantic Thrills and Today Junior, Salem Wolves is hosting their album release show at O’Brien’s this Sunday (5/7).
“It’s liminal, quantum space. Rock and roll is whatever moves you,” Salem Wolves said of the genre.
Their single “From The Vault” channels the gritty spirit of rock legends past — singer Gray Bouchard’s throaty vocals crack at the edges and descend into maniacal laughter at certain points in the song. “This ain’t the feel-good hit of the summer,” Bouchard sings. And while that may not be true of “From The Vault,” the song certainly carries an energy that easily fills a room in and of itself.
Reminiscent of Highly Suspect, the instrumentation is a key player in the music Salem Wolves produces. It toes the line of too much distortion, balancing the scuzzy guitar and bass from Dan McMahon and Harrison Swyter with crisp, breakneck drums that propel the song through its narrative. Like in “Can’t Wait,” which takes note of its title and begins with a subdued vocal track under tinny, thinly strummed guitar before bursting open at the striking up of the drums. There’s something urgent about the chorus of “ahhs” that backs Bouchard’s vocals that makes for a greater catharsis once the bridge hits.
Salem Wolves said Tooth & Nail functions as a yearbook for the band. “It’s who we were, who we are and it points to who we’ll be. It was important to exorcise these songs,” they said. The rock outfit added that who they are isn’t always necessarily good old fashioned rock. “We don’t wake up thinking ‘let’s be rock and roll today,'” they said. “We just wake up groggy and gasping and thankful to be on this side of the dirt. Then we start making noise.”
You can grab tickets for the O’Brien’s show for $8 here. If you can’t make the show on the 7th, make the journey up to Salem for a night for their hometown release show (entitled “Homecoming”) at Opus on 5/25 for $5.