Guitar and drum duos are a dime a dozen. Especially since The White Stripes made a splash in the early 2000s. Jack White helped usher in that distinctive sound of blues-based garage rock to mainstream listeners like never before. Their influence is still prevalent today. Sadly, for every Brother O’ Brother, there’s The Black Keys. Instead of playing to one’s strengths based on minimalism, the mainstream took it as opportunity wear a good thing out. I should be sick of hearing it. Then comes Texa$ Platinum from The Ghost Wolves.
The Ghost Wolves remind us of why we love blues-based rock n’ roll.
After the punch in the gut introduction (spoken in Spanish), The Ghost Wolves tear into “Attitude Problem”. The song that single-handedly says I’m not sick of hearing blues-based rock music, but reminds me why I love it to begin with! The pentatonic guitar riffs come loud and quick much like their contemporaries but, just like the title suggests, The Ghost Wolves have a secret weapon: attitude.
With such emphasis on minimal grooves, songs like “Whettin My Knife” and “Trippin” would be yawn-inducing if done by any other duo. Instead, Jonathan ‘Little Hammer’ Wolf and Carley ‘Carazy’ Wolf, have a certain chemistry that shouldn’t work, but does. Jonathan holds a tight groove that adds a layer of balance to Carley’s feral punk rock prowess. Sort of a chaotic yin and yang.
Texa$ Platinum isn’t an album of singles, it’s an exercise in unbridled energy.
Not every song rips your face off though, tracks like “Triple Full Moon” showcase the band’s groovier side by putting a beat in the spotlight. Tracks like “Shouldn’t Have Lied” also prove they’re capable of heavier output with a sludgy riff and grunge influenced dirge. Despite mastering a very simple model, The Ghost Wolves are clearly not a one trick pony.
Even with the blues-based rock duo becoming somewhat of a trope in today’s rock scene, there’s enough originality in Texa$ Platinum to keep the listener invested. To me The Ghost Wolves are closer to The Cramps than Jack White will ever be. The riffs are heavier, the beats groovier, and the vocal delivery far more dangerous. If Texa$ Platinum seems familiar, just know that The Ghost Wolves aren’t beating a dead horse, they’ve eaten it for breakfast!
For more information on The Ghost Wolves including tour dates, please visit them on Facebook
Texa$ Platinum is available on Hound Gawd! Records