If the sound of being eaten alive is something you would like to hear, by all means, shake a leg to Burned Mind. If you want to hear total meltdown, eat your heart out. I, as merely one listener among many, think there are better ways to spend my time. My beef with these three guys from Michigan — vocalist Nate Young, guitarist Aaron Dillaway and drummer John Olson — isn’t that they make music that sounds like carnivores. I just think what they do is fairly inconsiderate. But if they were interested in my well-being and yours, they’d probably be making very different music.
Wolf Eyes is intent on creating noise (Is it art? Is it music?). Abstraction has been the modernist’s trump card for at least the past ninety years. There’s a gang of Wolf Eyes cheerleaders, and then there’s the other camp, which spits on Wolf Eyes for being “pretentious” garbage. This division is less dramatic when you realize anyone who has an opinion on Wolf Eyes — for or against — is a pretentious music snob anyway.
I like Wolf Eyes and Burned Mind, the band’s first for Sub Pop, for the same reasons I dislike them: they’re hurtling toward this thorny space inside all of us, the one we often read about as a product of certain kinds of “manufactured” violence and “manufactured” cultures (colonialism, gun culture) — violent feelings created by societal structure. But maybe Freud had a point. Georges Bataille, too.
But corporate America didn’t make Wolf Eyes produce these sounds. George Bush didn’t make them do it. But here they are, creating this space of aural carnage, freewheeling suicide maxed-out grinding machines. And it’s motherfucking relentless.
That’s the way it is these days: Abu Ghraib to the Congo — where we have always been — some nice people and some others with teeth dripping in blood. Often by accident, all on the inside.
That’s what Wolf Eyes want to know: what’s inside of you? One of their songs has a damn hot beat, but I kicked the album under my bed. Don’t want to even think about it. The sun is out today, and everything should be just fine.