Why BattleWülf Rules by Kyle Coveny (2015)
The first time I met BattleWülf’s singer/guitarist, Jasmine, was at Kazoo!Fest 2014. I’ll never forget the denim-clad, mosh-haired figure emerging from the back of the crowd to rush the stage, after my former bands final performance, proclaiming her brash love for all things loud, heavy & weird. With arms wide for embrace, she hugged me and said, “Thank you guys, for showing me Guelph can be weird too.
Little did I know, I had already heard BattleWülf on a Wyrd Distro compilation about 2 months earlier. After having sat through a horde of monotonous industrial dance drone, my ears shot up at the first sound of punk rock drums and surf/slack rock guitars and the infectious hook on “I Don’t Wanna Touch Your Dick”, which happens to be the apt title for the just-shy-of a 2 minute banger that drills itself into your psyche like an anti-smoking ad but in the best way possible.
The next time I ran into Jasmine was a few short weeks later at another Kazoo! event, the Ladyhawk & Marine Dreams show last April. We got to talking about our guitar idols, bands we were into, and she happened to mention she was in that band whose song I had loved on that Wyrd Distro comp. After figuring this out, I frantically searched the net for another taste of BattleWülf when I came across their 2 track EP ‘Just Do What You Do & Never Look Around The Others’. The B-side was the loveable anthem ‘I Don’t Wanna Touch Your Dick’. The A-side, a softer side of BattleWülf. ‘Captcha’ is a dirty, garage-pop love ballad. Jagged rhythms and fuzzed out vox pull the listener into the depths of a crude love spell while Jasmine’s gloomy yet optimistic writing can’t help but make you melt into an emotional mess on the floor just before you get swept away by a wave of flanged out riffage and battling vocals
I had the pleasure of finally seeing BattleWülf this past November. They opened for Toronto’s Mad Ones and Hot Kid in Guelph at DSTRCT. Only having heard the two tracks, I didn’t know what to expect from a full set. The outfit was missing their bassist Jesse (ex-Mighty Atom and founder of Uncross Your Arms Fest in Waterloo) due to a scheduling conflict, but that didn’t stop the band (and the stand in) from sounding tight and fiendish through the night. Every song was an emotionally unabashed mixture of hopeless optimism and feverish composition. Jasmine speaks openly when at the mic, proclaiming things like “When I die, this will be the only thing I’ll be remembered for,” Referring to their EP’s B-Side. For me, BattleWülf’s songs are reminiscent of that first encounter I had with Jasmine almost a year ago. On the outside is this rough and frantic arrangement of jarring chords and pounding rhythms, but deep down there is a sweet honesty about all things unjust and divine. They’ll open up their arms and embrace you in all that is BattleWülf and leave no stone unturned, no eye dry and no neck un-kinked.
This is why BattleWülf rule and why you should go see them Saturday April 11th.
Kyle Coveny is the guitarist for Badminton Racquet and has an award-worthy moustache.