Album Review: Demos from the Den: Vols I and II by Wolf Lingo

Wolf Lingo comes to us from the Mile High City, or Denver, Colorado, for those who don’t know it by its nickname. The band describes themselves as …

“A heavy groove rock trio assembled along the front range of Colorado. Bassist Graham Rausch, Guitarist/Vocalist Kyle Shupp, and Drummer Linton Wright bring an eclectic mix of musical backgrounds and experience from an array of genres including rock, funk, metal, and jazz. The band finds common ground in their riff-laden, heavy tracks with progressive, psychedelic, desert, and classic rock roots. Chunky riffs, spiraling transitions, and tight grooves provide a through line to Wolf Lingo’s driving compositions. Within these tracks and live performances, audiences will hear familiar nods to bands like Black Sabbath, Tool, and King Crimson.”

In April 2022, Wolf Lingo dropped the first of three EPs, simply titled Demos from The Den: Vol. I. Not even a year later, on January 12th, 2023, they gave us Demos from The Den: Vol. II. Both EPs are excellent, and I’m going to talk about each of them.

About Demos from The Den: Vols I and II

All of the songs were written, performed, and recorded by Wolf Lingo, and they also created the album art for both. Vol. I is a purely instrumental venture, while Vol. II features vocals by Kyle, and to be frank, I believe that the songs on both EPs are strong, but I prefer the production on Vol. I.

The Songs from Vol. I

The three tracks here are called “Aquanaut,” “Arbitrage,” and “Snake Oil.” I’d pick the last for my favorite track, but they’re all so good that it was not easy to choose.

The intro to “Snake Oil” has a desert fuzz rock vibe, primarily due to the tone of the guitars, but as the track progresses, a space rock feel becomes more present. I thought the section that comes in about ⅓ of the way in was put together quite well, as it’s a psychedelic-influenced interlude that also lands a bit on the spacey side of things; being sandwiched between faster, fuzzy riffs also lends some dynamics to the track as a whole. Every riff is fantastic, and the track has the perfect arrangement.

The first song, “Aquanaut,” is the second-best track on Vol. I.

The intro is psych influenced, with a slick bass guitar line. This eventually shifts into a section that could be compared to Tool, which I am not complaining about (I used to hate Tool but have become a fan in recent years). This goes on until about 3 minutes in, and then we get what could be considered a lead section, albeit not a traditional lead. The bass and drums underneath are clear in the mix and keep everything tightly knit while the guitar supplies spacey sounds and licks. The Tool influence never truly leaves the song, and Wolf Lingo can pull off that feel convincingly coolly.

The Songs from Vol. II

There are also three songs on this volume, “C20”, “Bury The Sun,” and “Future Rust.”

As I mentioned earlier, I thought the first volume was better, but that’s mainly due to the overall tone of the album; there’s something about the production that seemed slightly darker in comparison.

“C20” was my favorite of Vol. II, and where the darker tone fits the music the best. The riffs are mostly high-energy, except in the verse section, where the bass is the standout instrument. Kyle shows that he’s got a great voice and an undeniable groove that keeps your feet moving from start to finish. They bring back the Tool feel towards the middle of the song, where Graham’s bass playing is truly in the forefront, powering the section with Linton’s fine drumming skills.

“Bury The Sun” begins with a Primus meets Tool psych vibe that I found very appealing. The track drops into a more stoner section when Kyle begins the first verse, but that only lasts for the verse as they head back into a spacey psych section; this also features incredible playing from all three members.

Another aspect of Wolf Lingo that I find impressive is the fact that they don’t add in rhythm guitar during any guitar leads. It may seem like a small thing, but this allows them to play these tracks exactly as they are in a live setting. It also gives the bass and drums a place to shine, not that they don’t in other sections of the songs, but this helps to display exactly how tight a unit these guys are.

Final Thoughts

Both of these Demos From The Den EPs are worth the time it takes to listen to them. Despite my saying that I liked Vol. I better, Vol. II is equally as solid in terms of quality, making me look forward to Vol. III, all the more.

I also feel that Wolf Lingo is one of the better three-piece bands that play this particular style of music, and their skills shine through in the musicianship, songwriting and arranging, and overall quality of both EPs. So, head to Bandcamp to check them out, and last I knew, both of them were Name Your Price, so throw some cash at them to add one, or both, to your collection!! Enjoy!!

Support Wolf Lingo by checking out their Bandcamp and website, or finding them on social media (Instagram, Facebook).

This review was written by Tom Hanno, who has been writing reviews for the last 7 years but has been sharing his love of music for the majority of his life. Originally starting out at the now defunct Chimera Magazine, he is currently contributing to Doomed and Stoned, The Sleeping Shaman, The Doom Charts, Tom’s Reviews, and The Third Eye. Read more of Tom’s reviews by checking out his Linktree.

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