At some point last year I went to the MySpace page for spazzy Chicago metalcore band Wolf & Cub and found they'd stuck a (Lone) in front of their name. They'd also changed their location to "CHICAGO IN THE U.S. NOT AUSTRALIA, Illinois United States." I assumed that someone else had jacked the name, which isn't hard to believe, considering that it comes from pretty much the best series of samurai comic books and movies ever. So I decided to check out the competition and was fairly unimpressed. I heard a little guitar riffage and a couple of mildly cock-rockish moves, and I wrote them off after a couple seconds as a kinda less-awful Wolfmother -- a designation that still allows for a considerable amount of sucking.
But now I've actually sat down and listened to the Aussie Wolf & Cub's full-length, Vessels (which gets its stateside release March 6th on 4AD), and sadly enough I feel like I might have to switch sides. I still love shrieky metal noise to death, but it turns out I like a high-powered blend of Clinic-al abstractness, My Bloody Valentine guitar abuse, and Led Zeppelin stomp even more. Wolf & Cub may be the first band to work in a style that could be called arena shoegazer (for a good sample, click here to listen to their single "Steal Their Gold). I'm sorry, Chicago Wolf & Cub--you still rule, but those Australians are really kicking my ass.