Wolfbrigade – Run With The Hunted

The vitality of Stockholm ragers Wolfbrigade is a joy to behold. Nine albums in, and Run With The Hunted (Southern Lord) blisters with the exuberance and wild abandon of a child who has quaffed a crate of Monster, spraying vigour and speedballs of punky virility in all directions with uninhibited elation.

The production, shared by Swedish luminaries Frederick Nordström and Tomas Skogsberg (about as heavyweight a pairing as you can get in the Northern hemisphere!), is the perfect mix of being filthy dirty while still bristling with clarity; Run With The Huntedfeels gritty and REAL and not an inch of sweaty human endeavour is muffled, but at the same time, you can hear every chug, every bass grunt, and the snare drum sounds like a fist repeatedly smashing into your jaw in a way that makes this incredibly listenable, while still leaving you want to trash everything in your wake.

Channeling the spirit of Motörhead and Discharge while indulging in more than a smattering of Wolverine Blues (Earache), ten songs whirl by in a chaotic torrent as melody and aggression vie in competitive brilliance. Jocke and Eric eschew solos, but fleck each track with perfect motifs amongst the punking and thrashing out, and Micke snarls, barking an ire against dystopia and injustice that you can taste, over a frenetic backdrop of d-beat’ed hardcore crust.

Masterpiece ‘Kallocain’ sits at the centre of the album, the longest track (at four and a half minutes), adding further nods to their homeland as the melodic introduction rocks like Grand Magus, while the verse rages bedecked Kvelertak-ian pummels, relentless in its catchy, heavy, violent majesty, while the rest of the album hits that sweet spot of hooks and violence.

Run With The Hunted is a brilliant cocktail of anger, melody, relentless driving energy and songs. If only every album was this much fun…