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Indie Rock





EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: Whenwolves summon the sublime beast within with "Impostorism"

If you can take a step back and examine the matter rationally the name Whenwoves makes a good deal of sense for a rock band even if it may appear at first to merely be a cheap play on words (we love cheap wordplay tho!) and yes "Why Wolves" was already taken and yes we looked it up because the most pertinent question when it comes to werewolves as a species is almost never the question of “where” seeing as wolves are highly adaptable as a species so they can be practically anywhere they wanna be thriving in habitats ranging from temperate forests, mountains, and tundra to taiga, grasslands and deserts this according to the fine folks over at the US Fish and Wildlife Service

…but rather it’s the question of “when” that's the critical matter at hand that most meaningfully distinguishes the werewolf from the wolf seeing as the former are notable for being both canis lupus and human being with the former trapped in the body of the latter or maybe it’s the other way around which any aspiring rock musician should identify with because rock ’n’ roll’s all about letting loose the best within ammirite?…

…but either way, returning to werewolves, the pressing question is almost always the question of when the next lycanthropic transformation will take place and you can just ask Michael J. Fox or Michael Jackson if you won't take my word for it re: the absolute havoc such a metamorphosis can wreck on your day-to-day existence while also acknowledging the self-actualizing appeal of letting go of the beast within because as it turns out "beasts within" are really good at basketball and also at choreographing synchronized dance routines with the undead…

…and right from the opening lines of Whenwoves’ sophomore single “Impostorism” the band's frontperson/songwriter/instrumenatlist/producer Bobby Lewis (the man behind the mask!) gets to the heart of the matter declaring you oughta come clean because / you’re putting on airs / you leave your mask on / when nobody’s there and I got a feeling the narrator may be addressing himself here and the-psychic toll of concealing your own true identity not to mention the existential stakes at play when "the mask becomes the man"...

……and sure OK full moons may have something to do with it too but if you’ve watched enough werewolf movies you know that more-often-than-not lycanthropic transformations are precipitated by some sort of stressful-or-perhaps-even-traumatizing event and you can actually hear this process being set in motion in the musical realm on “Impostorism” or so I’d argue given that from its opening moments the song lurches to life with a stuttering drumbeat and dirty synth tone (or it could be a guitar? who can tell these days!) that keeps repeatedly faltering and falling off as do the drums which grind to a halt before the song’s even barely started…

…until finding its footing with the entrance of an unexpectedly funky bassline as if the song's suddenly come to the realization that “daylight’s coming / better start dressing the part” even if we’re talking about the kind of funk here (double meaning intended!) that sounds like it’s quite possibly the precursor to a panic attack or in other words it’s very Colin Greenwoodsy with the track locking into a darkly groovy, shuffling groove you could maybe even dance to if not for all those herky-jerky, stop-start parts or the overriding sense of underlying menace much of which holds true for Whenwolves’ debut single “Igloo” as well…

…and once you’ve listened through a few times you’ll start picking up on all kinds of little sonic details with various subtle sonic layers constantly dropping in and out which taken together make up the hidden frequencies at work in “Impostorism” tasked with keeping things interesting even if subliminally to the point where you may wanna wear your tin-foil hat while listening just to be safe and is it any surprise that Bobby Lewis is also a sound mixer/producer who’s worked with the likes of Bodega (I think not!) all of which hints at the more obvious transformation soon to come…

…at around the 2:22 mark when the song suddenly come to a full stop, a pregnant pause just before "Impostorism" breaks loose from it’s feeble enclosure transforming David Naughton-like into the full on snarling/salivating/masticating beast within with a cool Graham Coxon-esque guitar-pedal-effects-laden-sculpted-noise-anti-solo which is immensely satisfying once it arrives, if you're inclined to such things that is, worming its way into your grey matter with unnerving/enthralling textural and rhythmic distentions and distortions as if the guitar itself is undergoing a werewolf transformation sequence…

…speaking of which Bobby Lewis himself is someone who shapeshifts lycanthrope-like between his nighttime “day gig” identity as a sound tech and occasional booker at the fabled Mercury Lounge—est. 1993, a nightclub known for helping establish the careers of bands like oh I dunno maybe the muthalovin’ Strokes--and his other identity as a maker of music his own self whether in his capacity as a record producer/sound mixer or even more so in his own musical projects such as the experimental rock combo Mustarmind and again in the video there's a beast slouching towards Bethlehem but probably the one in Pennsylvania...

…and lo and behold if you visit Whenwolves' Spotify page you'll see that Blur’s “Coffee & TV” is the band's “artist pick” of the moment so there ya go and if only there was ever to be a second season of I Am Not Okay With This, the brilliant show tragically cancelled by Netflix which I am so not okay with but supposedly it was the prospect of filming during peak Covid that scuppered the show but holy sh*t how could anyone be okay with concluding such a great show with such a jaw-dropping cliffhanger as seen below (major spoiler alert!) but anyway I could totally see “Impostorism” being on the soundtrack for Season 2 seeing as it’s just the kind of dark-and-driving-but-equally-twisty-dare-I-say-seductive motorik rock that fits perfectly with the heady, head-exploding atmosphere of the show… 

…one of two series—the other being The End of the F***ing World which yeah think Bonnie & Clyde meets Heatherssoundtracked by Graham Coxon both of which based on the graphic novels of Charles Forsman who seems to specialize in teen-horror-comedy-dramas exploring the growing pains of seemingly mild-manned hapless protagonists grappling with the slowly-growing presence of a sort of monster within, a shadow self, prone to wrecking havoc at the most inopportune moments but all the while allowing for a new level of self-actualization for their respective protagonists that surely wouldn't have happened otherwise or as the kids say “it’s complicated” so basically we’re talking nerdy Incredible Hulk/Carrie White types with deep misgivings about being incredible..

…which is all good and well but what does Bobby Lewis himself have to say about “Impostorism” you may be asking yourself and lucky for you we asked and he answered that it's “a pseudo-Industrial track musically inspired by the Watchmen HBO series score (by Nine Inch Nails) and lyrically inspired by feeling like a phony all the time even though everyone else is too” so there you have it and furthermore he shared a handy band bio so check it out below and then you start back over from the top and rewatch the cool lyric video which was filmed on the twinkling back wall of Brooklyn live music mainstay Baby's All Right which is another one of the hipper venues around town and so it seems the man-beast known as Whenwolves is truly a "werewolf about town." (Jason Lee)

**********************

Bobby Lewis: Whenwolves is a project started by Bobby Lewis in the heart of 2020’s lockdown, concurrent with his production work on BODEGA's Broken Equipment. After Lewis’s former band Mustardmind became idle following a 2019 fall tour, picking up the pieces and starting work on new music fell solely on his shoulders, as there were no other bandmates to develop the songs with at the time. Eric Slick (of Dr. Dog) was recruited to play drums for an upcoming five-song EP and after Kristin Slipp (of mmeadows and Dirty Projectors) contributed backing vocals, the musical vision for the project became realized. In 2022, the live line-up began taking form when Bobby’s brother Billy Lewis joined the group to play bass. The EP, Recon for the Weirdos, will come out in early 2023.

 

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FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
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FULL Artist Facebook address (http://...): 
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Band email: 
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