Howling With The Wolves

ketch-harbour-wolves-official-press-photo-novemberKetch Harbour Wolves is a band that deserves to be heard. Released in the summer of 2008, their second album, “Dead Calm Horizon” is a listenable album with an 80’s Simple Minds/Tears For Fears type sound. All the songs on this EP have lingering, haunting melodies that will cause you to think about yourself, how and why you love, and your relationship with the world.

“Words” has a chant-like quality to it and it is difficult to make out what is being said on first listen. However, it’s worth a second hearing. The driving harmonic beat of drums and guitar coupled with the plea to not have “My words my words don’t fail me now” overlapping at the end, forces a sense of urgency that makes you go back to the track to try to hear what you missed.

“Leaves” has a haunting quality built on by the tenuous relationship that the lead singer has with language itself. “Here – a hold on words/As frail as words themselves” – it’s as if the lyrics of this song is a lover who is trying to escape and the singer is desperately trying to keep her from getting away.

The haunting echo of the lyrics in “Gold” is emphasized by the insistent drumming and piano playing. Ketch Harbour loves to play with the words in their songs and this track is no exception. Lyrics such as “The heart of the burning sea/The mouth of the burning sea” propels you to think about how these lines are supposed to resonate in you.

“So Long to the Ground” is another track that is difficult to comprehend its meaning on first listen. Its gloomy melody feels monotonous at times and easily slips into white noise. However, it is not the type of white noise that you would turn off. Still, it’s not be a song that you would readily go back to either.

“Midnight Dark Water” is the most accessible song off the album. Its lyrics and melody are reminiscent of the effects the moon has on ocean waves. You get the sense that you are on a precipice watching the unpredictable and tumultuous water crashing against rocks in the dead of night. Essentially this track creates a mood that will leave you deep in thought over its meaning.

There are deep-provoking ideas and imagery in “Animals.”To pull out one or two lyrics to emphasize this point would not do justice to this track. The ominous melody in collusion with the words forces you to pay attention to the fact that people can come to the point of mass hysteria where we become nothing more than the worst of our bestial brethren.

The light tambourine alongside the guitar playing in “Letters” will remind you of a Bob Dylan track. However, this is not a protest song condemning war – rather it is a track that protests the misuse of the language of love. “If my words have failed me now/Let them burn into dust and ashes/‘cause I’m breathing out but you’re not breathing in/So please send me only letters of love.” These lyrics on this poignant track will stay with you long after the song is over.

When all is said and done, Ketch Harbour Wolves is a group whose influences and Canadian/Nova Scotia background has enabled them to create an album that will stay with you long after the last song has been sung.

About Donna-Lyn Washington 634 Articles
Donna-lyn Washington has a M.A. in English from Brooklyn College. She is currently teaching at Kingsborough Community College where her love of comics and pop culture play key parts in helping her students move forward in their academic careers. As a senior writer for ReviewFix she has been able to explore a variety of worlds through comics, film and television and has met some interesting writers and artists along the way. Donna-lyn does a weekly podcast reviewing indie comics and has also contributed entries to the 'Encyclopedia of Black Comics,’ the academic anthology ‘Critical Insights: Frank Yerby’ and is the editor for the upcoming book, ‘Conversations With: John Jennings.’

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