Wolf Eyes takes an imaginary sound and makes it reality on “Burned Mind.” The noise this Michigan-based trio creates has that ever-elusive combination of sounding at once unencumbered by traditional definitions of musicality and yet singularly focused and purposeful. This is the quality that scads of would-be idiot savant-groups are lacking: true collective motivation.
“Burned Mind” starts off, forebodingly enough, with about 45 seconds of the creaking and clacking noise a giant robot would make as it stirs from its mechanical slumber. This is followed by a hyper-gravitational rainstorm in the middle of a sea of static. And there you have it: “Dead in a Boat,” the album’s first track.
The similarly charmingly track titled “Stabbed in the Face” continues with the album’s most accessible track and the one that sounds most like a song. The song eschews niceties such as chords, choruses, discernable lyrics and melody opting instead for a nauseating pattern of electro-mechanical surges and distorted braying.
While there are plenty to choose from, Wolf Eyes’ most distinguishing characteristic is its notable lack of percussion. It is a death-noise act, replete with the requisite screamy distorted vocals, but they actually manage to forego the homogeneity of the genre by passing on the obligatory power-mad drummer. Wolf Eyes instead layers sheets of ominous electronic pulses and waves of tone to create the weightiness that other bands leach off some simian drummer. The effect is disorienting and the effort is commendable.
Wolf Eyes is a clearly a group that has perfected the art of sounding unpracticed and spontaneous while at the same time producing cohesive music.