The Wednesday following Halloween saw the arrival of Montréal’s post-punk three-piece We Are Wolves to Chicago’s Empty Bottle. This particular show was to conclude the band’s tour in support of their album, Nous Sommes Loups Non-Stop Je Te Plie En Deux. Afraid that I might miss the act, I rushed through the doors of the venue, only to find I was far too early. After an onslaught of noise-influenced openers, We Are Wolves took the stage revitalizing the audience with their foreign charm. The band’s square vocals, heavily synthesized riffs and spastic nature have drawn comparisons to groups like Clinic, Suicide and early New Order. Although their album was masterfully recorded, We Are Wolves come alive in a different light when on stage.
I had nearly fallen asleep on the bar when I began to hear the raw energy of the arty trio. While I had been drifting off with the other bar-flys, We Are Wolves had somehow creeped onto stage. The sharp electro synth tones were enough to immediately pull me to my weary feet. It was as if my body was moving involuntarily to the sound of the music. I was still in the act of nursing a hangover I had since Halloween, and yet the sound of We Are Wolves was enough to inspire me to shake a little ass. The band's quirky attitude brought something special to the moment as lead bassist, Alex Ortiz, began to convulse on stage.
We Are Wolves is the perfect marriage between new-wave-electro synth and old school punk-rock sensibility. At a show the three are a fiery bunch, rebellious in nature, yet composed, performing complex segments of their music flawlessly. Short interludes spoken in pigeon French brought a naive sense of exotic allure to the evening. The band, however, did show some minor signs of fatigue from their tour, as could be expected. Regardless, I was impressed with their performance and stage presence and look forward to perhaps seeing them play in their hometown, as Montreal is one of my favorite cities in the world.