An assault of sounds and dissonance, that is the only way to describe the Michigan-born experimental noise band Wolf Eyes. Since forming back in 1997, Wolf Eyes have amassed upwards of five hundred releases to their name: with only a handful of studio albums, most works are instead limited to physical cassettes and CDs. For their latest project the group has teamed with Third Man Records in order to produce the six track I Am a Problem: Mind in Pieces. Taking a step away from the grating industrial warbles of the past, I Am a Problem floods the senses with psychedelic guitar-driven soundscapes.
Created over the course of three years, the self-described trip metal trio have developed their new brand of aurally injected drugs. By slipping away from reality and “Catching the Rich Train” you are met with a mind-bending mixture of a monotonous keyboard, hazy woodwinds, and cacophonous electronic vibrations: whilst the quavering vocal echos follow into subsequent efforts. A distinct drum rhythm reverberates throughout and defines “Twister Nightfall” as a feedback-drenched guitar grinds its way into a melody.
Compared to earlier albums such as Human Animal, I Am a Problem houses tracks with structures more similar to conventional songs. Unlike “The Driller” and “Lake Of Roaches” the 2015 material is more than “Noise Not Music.” In lead single “Enemy Ladder” heavy guitar riffs command, as the unorthodox timbres characteristic of Wolf Eyes fail to make an appearance.
The dynamics throughout “Asbestos Youth” are kept relatively soft, whereas the preceding track “T.O.D.D.” blares shrill penetrating tones. The acid trip ends with the swirling kaleidoscopic effects of “Cynthis Vortex aka Trip Memory Illness.” Laced with a hypnotizing flute over crisp guitar notes and a swaying backdrop, the track stammers out with broken vocals. For what it is, “trip metal” with aspects of noise and stoner rock, I Am a Problem is fairly pleasant and a welcome step away from the screeching combinations of sounds that have marked the discography of Wolf Eyes in the past.