Bad Wolves – Dear Monsters
Released: October 28th, 2021
Doc Coyle // lead guitar, backing vocals
Chris Cain // rhythm guitar, backing vocals
Kyle Konkiel // bass, backing vocals
John Boecklin // drums, percussion
Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz // lead vocals
To say Bad Wolves have had an interesting career to date is a bit of an understatement. But Doc Coyle and the guys have emerged with a new album, Dear Monsters, that taps into the considerable vocal abilities of Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz. For their third album they have written some cool heavy riffs and more melodic tracks to put together a collection that has peaks and valleys that make for a great drinkin’ and singin’ album.
When it goes hard, Dear Monsters is a great jam. Opener ‘Sacred Kiss’ might start slow but amps up to an arena filling hard rocker with a huge chorus. ‘Never Be the Same’ has some great double kicks and a fierce riff. ‘On the Case’ is a serious metal song with a punchy groove riff that has some great screaming vocals. These are the kind of songs the band really sinks their fangs into and gets some badass swagger going. ‘Classical’ is a pretty fired up track that is worth repeat listens. I probably found these tracks had the bigger impact on me after listening to the album and I could see myself putting them on in the car or sitting around the old fire pit, beer in hand.
They also dabble in more than their fair share of balladry too. The album effectively swings between harder rock songs and more melodic moments. ‘Wildfire’ has a strong message calling for more proactive environmental planning. The hook is so massive you’ll be humming it for hours. Songs like ‘Gone’ are slow burners that really show off Laskiewicz’s range and have some nice harmonies too. There is a touch of grunt in the chorus riff that puts the power in these power ballads. ‘Springfield Summer’ is actually an acoustic country song, which is nice for variation but brought the album to a halt. It’s a nice nostalgic tune I guess but really didn’t work for me. The closing track ‘In the Middle’ is an epic acoustic number that will get phone lights on and swaying in the arena. It has a strong community vibe, with romantic undertones and a Slash-tastic guitar solo. Fans of Five Finger Death Punch will be right into this kind of variation.
The middle ground comes from (almost) radio friendly tracks like ‘Lifeline’ and ‘If Tomorrow Never Comes’. To be honest this is where I am a bit lost. They are nice songs with good melodies but they don’t really make me move. Your mileage may well vary but some of the lyrics feel particularly cliched and musically it is mid tempo. There are decent album tracks, and might even make good singles, but they don’t rock me. You can check out the videos for both below and decide for yourself.
The result is an album that fits neatly into a particular section of the metal music library as a solid rocking band that can get their ballad on too. If you’re down with Disturbed, then Bad Wolves will be the anecdote while you wait for their return. If you haven’t ever checked out their albums (and just know of them from their cover versions and dramas) then I can recommend you check out Dear Monsters and turn it up loud. You might just catch yourself singing along.
Bad Wolves – Dear Monsters tracklisting:
1. Sacred Kiss
2. Never Be The Same
7. On The Case
8. If Tomorrow Never Comes
9. Springfield Summer
10. House Of Cards
12. In The Middle