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The Wolf
The Wolf
Andrew WK

The Song

RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! HE'S BACK! Ahem. Mind you, you can hardly blame us for wanting to write this entire review in capitals... after all, Subtlety was never Andrew W.K.'s middle name, and he's not about to start now. And why would he? After all, 'Party Hard' remains one of the best singles of the century so far (number 3 in our Records Of The Year back in 2001, Records Of The Year fans), and its parent album 'I Get Wet' is shaping up to be one of the most enduring I'm-just-off-out debuts the world will ever see. So, naturally, all we're really after is a repeat performance. Which we get. YAY!

Alright, not totally, thank goodness. 'The Wolf' is at least slightly longer, and, at times, even marginally less hi-octane. Blimey! The familiar themes are still there, notably with the almost-inevitable triumvirate of 'Long Live The Party' ("The Conquest Will Survive!" indeed. None. More. Rock.), the lavishly lascivious 'Make Sex' and, joy of joys, 'Totally Stupid', which does exactly what it says on the tin by virtue of couplets like the fantastic "People Will Laugh And Tell You To Mop / People Will Call And Here Come The Cops" (and yes, this is how the lyric sheet's been printed. Not just us that felt the temptation of the shift key then), but there are genuinely affecting touches of melancholy here too. Though admittedly they're all still BLOODY LOUD. And, er, slightly celebratory too. F'r'instance, 'The End Of Our Lives' acknowledges far more distressing consequences than the classic 'Party 'Til You Puke' ever did, but still finds room for a bit of positive thinking ("Just Because This Life Ain't Easy / Doesn't Make It Bad" - now there's a lyric you'd never get on 'Results May Vary') and, while 'Your Rules' might be a trifle on the juvenile side, there's an uncontrived glee to it that prevents it from ever being as grating as, say, 'Fat Lip' was. And then there're - yikes! - the slowies. 'Free Jumps' packs an oddly stately wallop, and it's full of sentiments that lend themselves to the lighter, but 'Really In Love' is more remarkable still, being even more piano-driven than the rest of the proceedings and showing that Mr W.K. can even rasp romantically when he puts his mind to it. It's a beautiful thing, boys'n'girls, it really is.

So yeah, he's moved on a little but no, he hasn't gone soft on our perilously-leaping arses, and his personal holy trinity still seems to be the deeply unfashionable but unironically ace Van Halen, Meat Loaf and Billy Idol. We're talking drama. We're talking passion. We're talking sheer, fling-those-speakers-into-the-next-field power. Hmmm. Kind of like what everyone's rightly loving about The Darkness these days, then, and that's fairly appropriate, we'd've thought, since Andrew likewise believes in a thing called love and he definitely believes in a thing called RAWK too, and, to be honest, if anyone's worthy of surfing the fantastic four's slipstream - and it might be advisable to start steeling yourself for that particular onslaught now - then he, more than anyone, is The Man. "Don't Ever Stop The Song!" hollereth he about halfway through. Do us all a favour, And - keep taking your own advice on that one, yeah?

Iain Moffat

reviewed on 29 Sep 2003

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