There’s math rock, and there’s math rock. Then there’s Dick Wolf!. Calling them math rock is somehow an understatement. Their latest 7″, Entropy, is merely two songs and six minutes long (or 3 songs and nine minutes if you buy the digital download), yet there may be dozens upon dozens of riffs and/or parts. What makes this little slab of rock not a total clusterfuck of sounds is that Dick Wolf!, at their core, believe in melody.
Some of Entropy might sound a bit like Afro-pop played at 45 RPM’s, not so much in style, but in the guitar tones. That does not make it any less math rock-y then the heavier guitar oriented bands one tends to think of when daydreaming of math rock. Take the song “Entropy (Death Aint Nothing But Birth In Reverse),” and you’ll hear what I’m talking about. The guitars are clean and plucked more than strummed. What Dick Wolf! prove is that this sound doesn’t have to be coy or cute or overtly winky wink.
“I Wish I Were Still On Rollerskates” is the stand-out mostly for some of its raging guitar work and manic yet always in the pocket drummer. All the songs feel like a fret board work out, but “I Wish…’ in particular wanders down a heavier and more straight ahead path from time to time. I think the most remarkable thing about the song, and the 7″ as a whole, is how short it is while somehow feeling quite long. It’s a product of how many ideas Dick Wolf! cram into each song. But, as previously stated, it doesn’t feel overstuffed and that’s mainly due to the fact that at the heart of what might be noodling are pop songs. This sounds trite but we’ve all heard musical masturbation before, and no one enjoys that.
So Dick Wolf! find a pretty nice balance, you see. They will wow you with some technical prowess and keep you off guard with some manic time changes. But none of this is done merely to “Wow!” or to keep you off guard. No, Dick Wolf! write pop songs, just not straight forward ones. That’s not an easy task but on Entropy it’s quite a rewarding one.
via Ross Meyerson at Loud Loop Press
released 02 February 2011
DICK WOLF! is
Jeff Kelley: Guitar, Lead Vocals
Kevin Claxton: Guitar, Vocals
Eric Ridder: Drums
Tracking and mixing by Jeff with help from Kevin, Eric, and Dylan Slack.
Digital mastering by Tom Whittaker at Blackcity Recording
Artwork by Jeff