Alternative energy: “The Ghost Wolves”

“Anger is an energy,” John Lydon, a.k.a. Johnny Rotten, informed us a few decades ago. Considering that wisdom, Texa$ Platinum, the new album by The Ghost Wolves, is one of the most energetic I’ve heard lately. The Austin couple of singer/guitarist Carley Wolf and her husband, drummer Jonathan Wolf, rock hard and wild with lyrics and song titles (“Attitude Problem,” “Whettin’ My Knife,” “Strychnine in My Lemonade”) that seem to seethe with vexation. And yet somehow listening to them only makes me grin.

Carley Wolf has a pixieish, girly voice that wouldn’t seem out of place in some of my favorite Japanese girl-punk bands. Actually, the first time I heard her, I thought of KatieJane Garside, the singer of the early-’90s group Daisy Chainsaw (“Love Your Money”). Carley is also a heck of a guitarist. Her hubby Jonathan is not only downright powerful on the skins, he also adds subtle iggly-squiggly, sci-fi synth effects. The result is a refreshing take on the tried-and-true minimalist garage-y sound.


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