Bad Wolves – Die About It
Released: November 3rd, 2023
Daniel “DL” Laskiewicz // Vocals & Rhythm Guitar
Doc Coyle // Guitar
Kyle Konkiel // Bass
John Boecklin // Drums
Coming into this album blind, I was not entirely sure what to expect from Bad Wolves. I will be entirely honest, the only song I had listened to from the band before was their ‘Zombie‘ cover.
I am revealing this fact because since listening to Die About It, my preconceptions about what this album would sound like have been shattered. Bad Wolves have gone from being off the radar to a band that I am actively going through their discography.
From the jump, ‘Intro‘ was a little eerie, but also intriguing. A little kitschy but it is an effective lead into the first real song on the album ‘Bad Friend‘. Being the first single to be released, it does its job of setting the tone for the album. This was the precise moment I realised I had no idea what this band was about.
Clean but with so much depth, ‘Bad Friend’ shows Daniel ‘DL’ Laskiewicz‘s skills as a vocalist. What caught my ear was the understated bass line. It acts as the spine of the song, allowing the guitars to play with the melody fully. Overall, it is just a real solid heavy rock hit that has the presence of a mid-00s Marvel movie feature track, teetering that line of post-nu-metal hard rock.
Speaking of that wave, ‘Die About It’ rides it. The rap section dove headfirst into that nostalgic heavy rock sound but with the rise of nu-metalcore, it is not dated. If anything, Bad Wolves are helping the revival of consistently decent mainstream hard rock. There is that heavy metal sound but for those who like things a little more filthy, the track is peppered with some gutturals and a nicely placed bleurgh. What more can we ask for?
‘Saviour’ keeps the brutality going then drops into an atmospheric verse, highlighting the fullness of DL’s singing voice. Similarly to ‘Bad Friend’, it has that classic mid-00s hard rock sound. As somebody who grew up listening to bands like Saliva, Drowning Pool and Sevendust, it just hits all the right notes for me. The difference, as I mentioned earlier, while there is an embodiment of that type of nostalgic hard rock sound, it does not feel like I’ve plucked an album straight out of 2005. ‘Hungry For Life‘ takes that sound and makes it cinematic. The positive lyrics have the Killswitch Engage style- positive and uplifting without sounding cheesy. Much like the start of the album, there is a real superhero movie vibe, making it the perfect soundtrack for an origin story montage.
One of the elements that stand out with this album is the continuity. Every song feels as if it is introducing the next, leading in and out, building up and down. Going for ‘Hungry For Life’ to ‘Legends Never Die’ just makes perfect sense. It takes that uplifting and positive motif and pushes it towards reflection. Not to harp on the cinematic point, but there is just such vivid storytelling in the lyrics and the instrumentation creates a perfect backdrop.
‘NDA’ is probably one of the most surprising offerings for me on the album. While it does sit so well between the tracks it does, it stands out for all the right reasons. It is unexpectedly poppy. There is a vibrancy that juxtaposes with the melancholy nature of the lyrics. When the chorus kicks up the heaviness is a notch, but it doesn’t lose it’s melodic nature. The ending saxophone solo? *Chefs kiss.*
It screams of a band that is not afraid to innovate.
Now I mentioned previously as well that I was not all that familiar with Bad Wolves before I heard this album and when I heard that the singer used to be in The Acacia Strain, the verses of ‘Move On‘ were what I thought I was in for. It is the one that gives the album that little more dimension and would convince me to go see them live. Basically, this me saying that this band is so much heavier than what you would think from their single releases.